Stress is like a ghost!

In various respects stress is analogous to the comparison of  a ghost!  It is invisible! As with ghosts, there are various notions about the word itself. Some view stress as an environmental condition which exerts force on an individual. Others view stress as an individual's  appraisal, or interpretation, of a situation. Many think of stress as an interaction  between the individual and the demands of the environment. Finally, some think that stress is the lack of an individual's coping strategies. [1]

 Hans Selye, the "father of stress" and author of a book titled, "The Stress of Life, [2]  originally used the word "stress" to denote the effects of a force acting against a resistance. As previously stated of the various views of stress, Selye viewed stress as an environmental condition exerting pressure on an organism. He postulated that a generally overly adapted response by the organism could result in damage to the organism. He stated in somewhat ambiguous language that stress could be thought of as the "rate of wear and tear in the body." Selye decided to formulate an operational definition of stress and identified the precursors as stressors. He labeled the bodies overreaction to stress, as  the ( G. A. S.) General Adaptation Syndrome, which developed into three stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.

Regardless or your point of view, stress, like  ghosts, can be thought of as either good or bad. They have power over us based upon the interpretation that we give them. Though the ghosts cannot be seen, their effects can be often felt and measured.  As defined  by Selye, stress , like ghosts, when good could be named ( Eustress ) and when bad could be named ( Distress ).  Eustressors may be thought of as the observable event,  or precursors, which we perceive as good. Distressors may be thought of as the events, or precursors, which we perceive as bad.  According to Dr. Brian Luke Seaward   (Neustress) [3] may be labeled as stress which  produces an inconsequential  effect .

What is your favorite ghost story?  The word "ghost", if not interpreted literally, then  may be interpreted metaphorically speaking. Thus,  the word "ghost" could  refer to any abstract noun, such as a "superstition," or "myth," which you believe and may exert power over you   Explain  how the word "ghost"  is analogous to  the word "stress"? What are the elements, the plot, the outcome, in the story that represent, the stressors, eustressors, or distressors? Can you  see some of the effect  how an abstract word such as "stress" may have much like a "ghost" have power over you? If you answered  yes, or no, explain your reasoning. To which, of the previously mentioned views of stress, do you ascribe?

[1]  Cooper, Cary, Stress Research: Issues for the eighties, London: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 1984, p.81,
[2] Hans Selye, The Stress of Life,  New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co.,1978
[3] Brian Luke Seaward, Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Wellbeing,3rd. ed, Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2002, p.6

E-mail: rbrehm@msn.com  Copyright 1998  [Robert Brehm]. All rights reserved.