August 8, 2022

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Get to know the General Adaptation Syndrome or GAS and its stages

According to a researcher and scientist named Hans Selye, General adaptation syndrome (GAS) is defined as the physical changes experienced by the body in response to stress. This process consists of three stages, namely the alarm stage, the resistance stage and the exhaustion stage.

The following is a further explanation of the stages of general adaptation syndrome as reported by Verywellmind.

1. Alarm stage

At this stage the body will send a danger signal to the brain which makes the brain respond by sending a message to the body to release hormones glucocorticoids and adrenaline. It is also known as “fight or flight”

In the alarm stage, the body shows reactions such as increased blood pressure, rapid heart beat, pupil dilation and redness of the skin.

2. Resistance stage

At this stage the body will make efforts to cope with the changes that occur during the alarm stage. This process uses the parasympathetic nervous system and occurs when the thing that triggers stress has stopped.

In the resistance stage, usually a person becomes more irritable, poor concentration and quickly feels frustrated.

3. Exhaust stage

In the exhaustion stage, the body becomes tired due to prolonged stress. And if the cause of stress persists, the body becomes more and more exhausted from fighting it. The exhaustion stage is the most risky stage of the general adaptation syndrome because it makes a person very vulnerable to health problems.

A body that feels unprepared for stress shows symptoms of anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue and cognitive difficulties.

Many things can be a trigger for stress such as being fired from work, losing a loved one, a job that feels heavy, experiencing a separation and others.

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General adaptation syndrome may be thought of as a condition that does not require diagnosis or treatment but rather a description of the body’s condition when under stress. However, when the body is in a state of stress for a long time, it can lead to health complications such as anxiety disorders. High blood pressure, stress on the immune system and also heart disease.

Given that complications due to stress have a huge impact on body health, it is important to recognize the stages in the general adaptation syndrome and try to prevent them from entering the exhaustion stage. For this reason, it is necessary to identify the causes of stress so that they can be removed or at least minimized.

Some ways you can try to manage stress include eating healthy and nutritious foods, exercising, breathing exercises, journaling and talking to people you trust. If necessary, you can also consult a health professional for medical advice.