Physiological or biological stress is an organism's response to a stressor such as an environmental condition or a stimulus. Stress is a body's method of reacting to a challenge. According to the stressful event, the body's way to respond to stress is by sympathetic nervous system activation which results in the fight-or-flight response. Because the body cannot keep this state for long periods of time, the parasympathetic system returns the body's physiological conditions to normal (homeostasis). In humans, stress typically describes a negative condition or a positive condition that can have an impact on a person's mental and physical well-being.

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  • 1. [Anxiety] Anxiety is an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints and rumination. It is the subjectively unpleasant feelings of dread over anticipated events, such as the feeling of imminent death. Anxiety is not the same as fear, which is a
  • 2. [Coping (psychology)] In psychology, coping is expending conscious effort to solve personal and interpersonal problems, and seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress or conflict. The effectiveness of the coping efforts depend on the type of stress and/or conflict, the particular individual, and the circumstances.
  • 3. [Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis] The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA or HTPA axis), also known as the limbic–hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (LHPA axis) and, occasionally, as the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal–gonadotropic axis, is a complex set of direct influences and feedback interactions among three endocrine glands: the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland (a pea-shaped structure located below the hypothalamus), and the adrenal (also called "suprarenal") glands (small, conical organs on top of the kidneys).
  • 4. [Cortisol] Cortisol is a steroid hormone, in the glucocorticoid class of hormones, and is produced in humans by the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex within the adrenal gland. It is released in response to stress and low blood-glucose concentration.
  • 5. [Hypothalamus] The hypothalamus (from Greek ὑπό, "under" and θάλαμος, "room, chamber") is a portion of the brain that contains a number of small nuclei with a variety of functions. One of the most important functions of the hypothalamus is to link the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland (hypophysis).
  • 6. [Fight-or-flight response] The fight-or-flight response (also called the fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response [in PTSD], hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. It was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon. His theory states that animals react to threats with
  • 7. [Stress management] Stress management refers to the wide spectrum of techniques and psychotherapies aimed at controlling a person's levels of stress, especially chronic stress, usually for the purpose of improving everyday functioning.
  • 8. [Sympathetic nervous system] The sympathetic nervous system is one of the two main divisions of the autonomic nervous system, the other being the parasympathetic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system functions to regulate the body's unconscious actions. The sympathetic nervous system's primary process is to stimulate the body's fight-or-flight response. It is, however, constantly active at a basic
  • 9. [Glucocorticoid] Glucocorticoids (GCs) are a class of steroid hormones which bind to the glucocorticoid receptor (GRE), that is present in almost every vertebrate animal cell. The name glucocorticoid (glucose + cortex + steroid) derives from its role in the regulation of the metabolism of glucose, its synthesis in the adrenal cortex, and its steroidal structure (see structure to the right). A less common synonym is glucocorticosteroid.
  • 10. [Norepinephrine] Norepinephrine (INN) (abbreviated norepi or NE), also called noradrenaline (BAN) (abbreviated NA, NAd, or norad), or 4,5-β-trihydroxy phenethylamine is a catecholamine with multiple roles including those as a hormone and a neurotransmitter. It is the hormone and neurotransmitter most responsible for vigilant concentration in contrast to the chemically similar hormone, dopamine, which is most responsible for cognitive alertness.
  • 11. [Sleep] Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles, and reduced interactions with surroundings. It is distinguished from wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, but is more easily reversed than the state of hibernation or of being comatose. Mammalian
  • 12. [Amygdala] The amygdalae (singular: amygdala; /əˈmɪɡdələ/; also corpus amygdaloideum; Latin, from Greek ἀμυγδαλή, amygdalē, 'almond', 'tonsil'), listed in Gray's Anatomy as the nucleus amygdalæ, are two almond-shaped groups of nuclei located deep and medially within the temporal lobes of the brain in complex vertebrates, including humans. Shown in research to perform a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions, the amygdalae are considered part of the limbic system.
  • 13. [Eustress] Eustress means beneficial stress - either psychological, physical (e.g. exercise) or biochemical/radiological (hormesis).
    The term was coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye, consisting of the Greek prefix eu- meaning "good", and stress, literally meaning "good stress".
  • 14. [Corticotropin-releasing hormone] Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) also known as corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) or corticoliberin is a peptide hormone and neurotransmitter involved in the stress response. It belongs to corticotropin-releasing factor family. In humans, it is encoded by the CRH gene.
  • 15. [Hormone] A hormone (from Greek ὁρμή, "impetus") is any member of a class of signaling molecules produced by glands in multicellular organisms that are transported by the circulatory system to target distant organs to regulate physiology and behaviour. Hormones have diverse chemical structures including eicosanoids, steroids, amino acid derivatives, peptides, and proteins. The glands that secrete
  • 16. [Anxiety disorder] Anxiety disorders are a category of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, where anxiety is a worry about future events and fear is a reaction to current events. These feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as a racing heart and shakiness. There are a number of anxiety disorders: including generalized anxiety disorder,
  • 17. [Adrenocorticotropic hormone] Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), also known as corticotropin (INN, BAN) (brand names Acortan, ACTH, Acthar, Acton, Cortigel, Trofocortina), is a polypeptide tropic hormone produced and secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. It is an important component of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and is often produced in response to biological stress (along with its precursor corticotropin-releasing hormone from
  • 18. [Prefrontal cortex] In mammalian brain anatomy, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the cerebral cortex which covers the front part of the frontal lobe. The PFC contains Brodmann areas 9, 10, 11, 12, 46, and 47.
  • 19. [Adrenal gland] The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are endocrine glands that produce a wide variety of hormones. They are found above the kidneys and consist of a number of different layers that directly influence the structure and function of the glands. Each gland has an outer cortex made of steroid-producing cells and an inner
  • 20. [Depression (mood)] Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. People with depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, ashamed or restless. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or
  • 21. [Adrenal cortex] Situated along the perimeter of the adrenal gland, the adrenal cortex mediates the stress response through the production of mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids, such as aldosterone and cortisol, respectively. It is also a secondary site of androgen synthesis. Recent data suggest that adrenocortical cells under pathological as well as under physiological conditions show neuroendocrine properties; within
  • 22. [Hippocampus] The hippocampus (named after its resemblance to the seahorse, from the Greek ἱππόκαμπος, "seahorse" from ἵππος hippos, "horse" and κάμπος kampos, "sea monster") is a major component of the brains of humans and other vertebrates. Humans and other mammals have two hippocampi, one in each side of the brain. It belongs to the limbic system
  • 23. [Pituitary gland] In vertebrate anatomy, the pituitary gland, or hypophysis, is an endocrine gland about the size of a pea and weighing 0.5 grams (0.018 oz) in humans. It is a protrusion off the bottom of the hypothalamus at the base of the brain. The hypophysis rests upon the hypophysial fossa of the sphenoid bone in the
  • 24. [Pain] Pain can be described as a distressing sensation in a particular part of the body. Because pain is a complex and subjective phenomenon, an adequate definition is difficult to develop. The International Association for the Study of Pain's widely used definition states: "Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage."
  • 25. [Mood (psychology)] A mood is an emotional state. Moods differ from emotions, feelings or affects in that they are less specific, less intense, and less likely to be triggered by a particular stimulus or event. Moods generally have either a positive or negative valence. In other words, people typically speak of being in a good mood or a bad mood.
  • 26. [Stressor] A stressor is a chemical or biological agent, environmental condition, external stimulus or an event that causes stress to an organism.
    An event that triggers the stress response may include:
  • 27. [Serotonin] Serotonin /ˌsɛrəˈtnɨn/ or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), blood platelets, and the central nervous system (CNS) of animals, including humans. It is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.
  • 28. [Posttraumatic stress disorder] Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events, such as major stress, sexual assault, warfare, or other threats on a person's life. Symptoms include disturbing recurring flashbacks, avoidance or numbing of memories of the event, and hyperarousal, continue for more than a month after the occurrence of a traumatic event.
  • 29. [Burnout (psychology)] Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. Burnout has been assumed to result from chronic occupational stress (e.g., work overload). However, there is growing evidence that its etiology is multifactorial in nature, with dispositional factors playing an important role. Although it is widespread, burnout is not recognized
  • 30. [Homeostasis] Homeostasis or homoeostasis (homeo- + -stasis) is the property of a system in which variables are regulated so that internal conditions remain stable and relatively constant. Examples of homeostasis include the regulation of temperature and the balance between acidity and alkalinity (pH). It is a process that maintains the stability of the human body's internal environment in response to changes in external conditions.
  • 31. [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), offers a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders. It is used, or relied upon, by clinicians, researchers, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, the legal system, and policy makers together with
  • 32. [Major depressive disorder] Major depressive disorder (MDD) (also known as clinical depression, major depression, unipolar depression, or unipolar disorder; or as recurrent depression in the case of repeated episodes) is a mental disorder characterized by a pervasive and persistent low mood that is accompanied by low self-esteem and by a loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable
  • 33. [Appetite] Appetite is the desire to eat food, sometimes due to hunger. Appealing foods can stimulate appetite even when hunger is absent. Appetite exists in all higher life-forms, and serves to regulate adequate energy intake to maintain metabolic needs. It is regulated by a close interplay between the digestive tract, adipose tissue and the brain. Appetite
  • 34. [Circadian rhythm] A circadian rhythm /sɜrˈkdiən/ is any biological process that displays an endogenous, entrainable oscillation of about 24 hours. These 24-hour rhythms are driven by a circadian clock, and they have been widely observed in plants, animals, fungi, and cyanobacteria.
  • 35. [Psychosomatic medicine] Psychosomatic medicine is an interdisciplinary medical field exploring the relationships among social, psychological, and behavioral factors on bodily processes and quality of life in humans and animals.
  • 36. [Memory] In psychology, memory is the process in which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. Encoding allows information from the outside world to be sensed in the form of chemical and physical stimuli. In this first stage the information must be changed so that it may be put into the encoding process. Storage is the second
  • 37. [Quality of life] Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies. QOL has a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, politics and employment. It is important not to mix up the concept of QOL with a more recent growing area of health related QOL (HRQOL). When we look at HRQOL we in effect look at QOL and its relationship with health.
  • 38. [Hans Selye] János Hugo Bruno "Hans" Selye, CC (/ˈhænz ˈsɛlj/; Hungarian: Selye János; January 26, 1907 – October 16, 1982), was a pioneering Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist of Hungarian origin. He conducted much important scientific work on the hypothetical non-specific response of an organism to stressors. Although he did not recognize all of the many aspects of glucocorticoids, Selye was aware of their role in the stress response. Some commentators consider him the first to demonstrate the existence of biological stress.
  • 39. [Social defeat] Social defeat refers to losing a confrontation among conspecific animals, or any kind of hostile dispute among humans, in either a dyadic or in a group-individual context, potentially generating very significant practical and psychological consequences in terms of control over resources, access to mates and social positions.
  • 40. [Allostatic load] The allostatic load is "the wear and tear on the body" which grows over time when the individual is exposed to repeated or chronic stress. It represents the physiological consequences of chronic exposure to fluctuating or heightened neural or neuroendocrine response that results from repeated or chronic stress. The term was coined by McEwen and Stellar in 1993.
  • 41. [Limbic system] The limbic system (or paleomammalian brain) is a complex set of brain structures located on both sides of the thalamus, right under the cerebrum. It is not a separate system but a collection of structures from the telencephalon, diencephalon, and mesencephalon. It includes the olfactory bulbs, hippocampus, amygdala, anterior thalamic nuclei, fornix, columns of fornix, mammillary body, septum pellucidum, habenular commissure, cingulate gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, limbic cortex, and limbic midbrain areas.
  • 42. [Hypertension] Hypertension (HTN or HT), also known as high blood pressure or arterial hypertension, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. Blood pressure is expressed by two measurements, the systolic and diastolic pressures, which are the maximum and minimum pressures, respectively, in the arterial system. The systolic pressure
  • 43. [Locus coeruleus] The locus coeruleus (\-si-ˈrü-lē-əs\, also spelled locus caeruleus or locus ceruleus) is a nucleus in the pons (part of the brainstem) involved with physiological responses to stress and panic.
  • 44. [Immune system] The immune system is a system of many biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease. To function properly, an immune system must detect a wide variety of agents, known as pathogens, from viruses to parasitic worms, and distinguish them from the organism's own healthy tissue. In many species, the immune system
  • 45. [Attention] Attention is the behavioral and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on a discrete aspect of information, whether deemed subjective or objective, while ignoring other perceivable information. Attention has also been referred to as the allocation of limited processing resources.
  • 46. [Neuropeptide Y] Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a 36-amino acid neuropeptide that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and in the autonomic nervous system of humans; slight variations of the peptide are found in many other animals. In the autonomic system it is produced mainly by neurons of the sympathetic nervous system and serves as a strong
  • 47. [Occupational stress] Occupational stress is stress involving work. It occurs when people have responsibilities and demands at work with which they cannot cope, for a variety of reasons. It can also occur when there is a mismatch between job expectations and reality.
  • 48. [Corticosteroid] Corticosteroids are a class of chemicals that includes the steroid hormones that are produced in the adrenal cortex of vertebrates as well as the synthetic analogues of these hormones. Corticosteroids are involved in a wide range of physiological processes, including stress response, immune response, and regulation of inflammation, carbohydrate metabolism, protein catabolism, blood electrolyte levels, and behavior.
  • 49. [Over-illumination] Over-illumination is the presence of lighting intensity higher than that which is appropriate for a specific activity. Over-illumination was commonly ignored between 1950 and 1995, especially in office and retail environments. Since then, however, the interior design community has begun to reconsider this practice. Over-illumination encompasses two separate concerns:
  • 50. [Endocrine system] The endocrine system refers to the collection of glands of an organism that secrete hormones directly into the circulatory system to be carried towards distant target organs. The major endocrine glands include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, hypothalamus, gastrointestinal tract and adrenal glands. The endocrine system is in
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