Human beings pass through difficult moments in their lives, one of them being stress. Stress in human beings can cause many adverse effects from diseases to mental disorder to death. In psychology where people study stress and its phenomenon, an environmental stressor is an external force or incident on an individual, which results into somebody experiencing abnormal changes psychologically and biologically. This has made psychologists to classify stressors into various classes. Among the many classes are environmental stressors.
These include; air pollution, humidity, abnormal temperatures, crowding, congestion, and natural disasters like earthquake and thunderstorm. All of these stressors cause stress on individuals and adversely affect their normal lifestyles. Since these factors are natural, research psychologists classify them as environmental stressors. The impacts of these environmental stressors range from one person to another depending on the available environmental stressor. Overall, these factors arguably revolutionize an individual’s physical appearance, mood, character, cognitive utility and psychosomatic status. Each environmental stressor has its effect on a certain individual depending on the occupation that one involves. For example, noise can affect students while traffic congestion can change the behavior of most employees who commute daily to work. The paper examines three environmental stressors and their effects on an individual.
(Gary, 1982, pp.13-15).
High and extremely low temperature can cause numerous impacts on an individual. This happens especially when there is a sudden change of temperature leading to the body reacting strongly in order to adapt to that sudden climatic condition. For example, according to research done by psychologists, extreme temperature are likely to cause poor performance either in workplace for employees or low grades for students and pupils. Under extremely abnormal temperature, certain people seem to adopt new behavioral changes. For example, some people may acquire the habit of aggressiveness towards things and perceptions. Additionally, for students, at high temperatures, they lack concentration and fall asleep easily, thus, no attention and this results into poor performance and failure.
In addition to this, high temperature forces the body to sweat more making the skin to be come dry. At times, this can result into abnormal breathing, headaches, vomiting, fainting and mental disorder. Nevertheless, at moderate temperatures, there is increased attention towards a certain activity, conformability and result oriented while low temperatures can cause lethargy and numbness. (Rathus & Nevid, 2002, pp. 157-165).
Loud music from discos and radios, scrubbing of metals, traffic noise and classroom chatters provides an irritating environment for concentration leading to stress.
If for example, some students expose themselves to unnecessary noise, their auditory and visual physical abilities decline steadily leading to poor performance. Moreover, high sound triggers hormonal imbalance. In fact, according to medics, at extremely high noise decibels, stress responses of the body generate chronic stress, through the high number of hormones released. Consequently, an individual may suffer from musculoskeletal problems, hypertension, stroke or heart diseases. All these effects will undeniably lead to stress as the body fights hard to contain noise hazards.
Some studies indicate that, extreme noise disrupts the normal sleep cycle and weakens white blood cells responsible for the body’s immunity. Consequently, the body lack immunity and one is prone to disease attack. (Gary & Dana, 2000, pp. 777-782).
Chemical pollution is yet another environmental stressor that affects people’s lives. If for example chemical components invade drinking water, there is likelihood of an outbreak of diseases. These diseases change the normal biochemistry of the body hence, resulting to stress.
Chemical pollution causes biological body changes like detoxification of body cells and change in the metabolic system. Some individuals develop rashes when they get exposure to chemical pollutants while in others, chemical pollution can cause diseases like cancer and in women, birth complications.
Environmental stress resulting from stressors is something that people can avoid. The best step to take is to search for modalities of avoiding and eliminating stressors to enjoy a stress-free environment. Allergic people can avoid chemically rich places while people can have noise absorbers in their homes to curb noise pollution. In houses with rising temperatures, new technologies like the use of coolants and fans help in controlling temperatures hence, less stress. Nevertheless, since environmental stressors sexist naturally, the only way to curb them is to address their source.
Gary, E. (1982). Environmental Stress. New York: Cambridge University Press. Gary, E., & Dana, J. (2000). Stress and Open Office Noise.
Journal of Applied. Psychology, 85 (5), 777-782. Rathus, S., & Nevid, J.
(2002). Psychology and the Challenges of Life: Adjustment in the New Millennium. (8th edition).New York: John Wiley & Sons.