Social Stress: Causes And Effects


Social stress is enshrined in psychological perspectives into human resistance to what he is. According to Don Millman, stress occurs when the human mind resists the reality of life as it unwraps. Further, this psychology presents an understanding of the human mind on stress management by unveiling social stress causes and effects. This should provoke human consciousness and therefore assist people in understanding their minds and psychological cum physiological responses to events.

To understand social stress, causes, and effects, it is important to consider the Appraisal Theory of Emotions in psychology. The theory illustrates that human emotions are a response to a specific evaluation of events. By this, humans appraise events even before they ensue and this appraisal determines either happiness or melancholy.

In other words, the appraisal theory maintains that human emotions are subject to explanations and interpretations of circumstances around them. With regard to this theory, a person feels stressed when he or she interprets a challenge or project and admits that he or she doesn’t have adequate resources or skills to shoulder it.

When an event, therefore, appears to be more tasking than the ability someone can afford or offer, the body reacts to an emotional stimulation of dejection, emptiness, and weariness that pose a threat to the mental state of the person.

Therefore, stress can be established as a strain that occurs from demanding circumstances humans are embattled with. Stress is divided into two sections: psychological or mental stress and emotional stress. Emotional stress, however, is the social stress under consideration.

Social stress occurs when a challenge or a setback is set on a person’s relationship and social environment. In this context, relationships and social environment include family relationships, friendly associations, academic tussles, or social sphere crises. This term has been a major source of stress as it has been discovered that emotional stress compounds other stress presented by daily human activities.

It should be noted that humans feel an obligation to perform some responsibilities due to loyal relationships and undue pressure they undergo; pressures that exacerbate social stress. Due to this, the body responds to the demands which they have inadequate resources. It presents the risks of anxiety, concern, and loss of emotional strength to contain the situation.

The body reacts to stress cuts through the rapid pounding of the heart, immediate tightening of muscles, forgetfulness, and high blood pressure. Also, some people experience a fallout and feel disgusted and uninterested in a lot of things. There are also life-changing events that may affect the perspectives of individual victims, in extreme cases, about a lot of things.

For example, a sexually assaulted person will experience enormous exhaustion and feel disgusted or may recount odd memories, when s/he appears in an environment where a discussion on sex is held. Also, a divorced person can undergo severe strain due to the abrupt end of a marriage. These are chronic cases that provoke extreme strains on the individual which enhances different layers of social stress.

Further, humans find it fundamental to establish human relations. However, maintaining these relationships makes improving and enhancing them a conscious effort to have a positive relationship. To attain this positive relationship, people exhaust themselves to stabilize social ties. People pay more attention to fostering social inclusion. Anything that attempts to threaten the relationship established becomes a representation of a large proportion of stress on the person.

More so, social stress arises from discrimination which could prove disastrous if not controlled and curtailed. Some numberless persons recognize minority groups in the world and oppressing them is equivalent to posing a strain on their emotional stability. In this context, minority groups are coloured persons, LGBTQ persons, women, disabled and aged persons, albinos, etcetera.

There are various causes of social stress. However, one of the basic causes of social stress is failure. It is essential to emphasize that failure results in low self-esteem which equates to a loss of good social standing or status. Failure impacts the experience of a higher stress level due to the challenge of doubt in self-identity and abrupt classification as a failed person.

Additionally, when students fail or an employee fails an employer on a project, the direct feeling of low self-esteem is sometimes exacerbated by the disposition of parents and employers (in this context) towards them. Some parents or employers insult and ridicule such persons. This, amongst other things, provokes a strain on human emotions.

Further, the psychoanalytic function of the human brain reveals that situations provoke the brain to release certain chemicals that cause an exhibition of specific emotions. These emotions are also responsible for presenting and exacerbating stress levels.

The second major cause is the vulnerable feeling of uncontrollability. People often want to be in control of situations and when it appears that they are not in control, a belief of failure is generated and it decreases the zeal through which adequate thinking process and decision-making could guarantee success.

The effects of social stress, especially for a repetitious and long period, present chronic detriments to the human mental and physical self. The effects include anxiety, loss of memory, depression, weariness and exhaustion, lack of motivation, and lots more.

The physiological effects of social stress include headache, frequent inability to sleep or insomnia, muscle tensions, etcetera. These are also exacerbated by the prolonged torment that mental inadequacies pose on the physical and mental state of the human system.

The mental effects of social stress entail memory loss, pessimism and confession of negative thoughts, inability to possess a purpose and recognize it, and loss of concentration. All of these supplement other effects of social stress.

Emotional effects also encompass feelings of resentment, anxiety, and depression. In addition to the already listed, people get easily irritated and some eventually develop relationship crises.


Behavioural responses to the effects of social stress are one of the earliest signs of stress. This is because the behavioural effects are earlier revelations if social stress occurs in a person’s social life. Therefore, behavioural effects include poor eating or loss of appetite, driving instability, abuse of drugs, etcetera. The effects of social stress complement each other, which makes them very critical in considering the residue and manifestation of social stress on human beings.

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