A habit as harmful to the body as a long term substance abuse

The arousal level can be thought of as how much capacity you have available to work with. The concept of arousal relates to the activities of the ANS, this is also known as the Automatic Nervous System. The automatic nervous system or the ANS is a network of unmediated nerve fibres, which regulates internal systems such as the body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. The function of the sympathetic division is concerned with states which are highly activated and preceded for action, while the parasympathetic division is concerned with states which are quiet and restorative. Activation of the sympathetic division of the automatic nervous system is often given the general term of arousal.

Psychological interest in arousal has tended to centre on the relationship between physiologically aroused condition, and the experience of emotions. Periods of high physiological activity happen when we take vigorous exercise are accompanied by high levels of adrenaline and by all the other symptoms of the generalised arousal state. However aroused states also accompany the emotional states of fear and anger. Some evidence suggests that the sensation of arousal appears to interact reflexively with these emotions, with each enhancing the other. As our level of arousal has an effect on our performance at a variety of different tasks. As if we are too relaxed, we become under aroused then we don’t perform well and if too anxious we become over aroused or have a hyperactive affect and again performance will suffer.

Changes in automatic arousal levels produce a number of physiological changes. These are readily detectable, and can be measured in several different ways. The most visible changes are noticed when the face changes in colour which usually occurs as a result of a form of emotion, particularly in the case of anger fear and annoyance. Overall the level of arousal in which we experience can actually affect our performance. This relates to a principle known as the Yerkes Dodson Law of arousal (1908). The Yerkes Dodson Law states that there is a relationship between the state of arousal and task performance, essentially of a given individual and how well that individual will perform on a given task.

Also according to Yerkes Dodson it has predicted that this can be expressed on a graph an inverted U curve. Arousal improves performance only up to a point, but beyond that point, performance will begin to decline. A moderate or mid- level of arousal will provide or help us to do things better, were as an extreme level of arousal will impair how well we do, so the best state of arousal is not too high or too low and to keep it mid-level.

A number of questions have risen to do with how useful the concept of arousal really is, these have come about as a result of some of the detailed investigation of arousal conducted by researchers, which have shown that, although they may seem superficially similar, arousal states produced by different types of stimuli or emotions can in fact involve quite different physiological effects. The body will immediately respond to stressful or anxiety provoking events, by generating a rapid high level of physiological arousal. When the threat simply does not go away, the ‘fight or flight’ response would kick in. However in terms of energy the body can keep up for very long, yet in modern living, perceived threats are rarely responded to physical action.

Stress is the body’s response to a threatening event or a biological response experienced as emotion and physical response to stressors by the ANS and controlled by the hypothalamus. The stress response occurs when a perceived threat to comfort initiates a series of automatic and glandular activities within an organism. The organs most directly concerned with the response are the hypothalamus and the pituitary adrenal glands. Each is linked to one or both of the others by nerves and hormonal pathways, and the effects they have on the body during arousal

In 1956 Hans Selye was particularly interested in the effects that prolonged exposure to stressful situations has on the body’s resistance to disease and illness. Seyle (1956) suggested that all animals and humans react to stressors through 3 stage physiological responses, called General adaptation syndrome (GAS). This described how humans and animals respond to long term stress.

Homelessness and substance abuse are considered as two interlinking factors. From previous studies, arguments in terms of mutual correlation between homelessness and substance abuse have been proposed. Homelessness is viewed as a predisposing factor for conjuring substance abuse problems for …

Arousal is the psychological readiness to perform a task. Galligan et al. (2002) defined arousal ‘Arousal is the level of psychological readiness’. Our body’s arousal levels have vast consequences on our ability to perform certain things. Arousal affects; performance, attitude …

Substances such as drugs, legal or prohibited, can cause negative effect on people depending on how these are being used and taken (Johnson, 2003). People of different background and condition have access to these substances, which may lead to misuse …

Substance abuse is considered to be the intemperance and reliance on a drug or any other substance, which can have damaging effects on the individual’s physical and mental health. The ailment is identified by a sequence of constant pathological usage …

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