Issue - September 2008

September 2008

In this number: Minato Kobori interviews Julio Cesar Baldivieso; Perry King eliminate some myths of malaria in Bolivia; Stress is one of the main problems in our society nowadays Monica Ruiz tell us about this; Walter Sanchez explains about working women in Cochabamba and their moving away from domestic life. more...

September 2008

Stress in Cochabamba city

A new ability and attitude is required to deal with today’s challenges

Mónica Ruiz

All human beings act according to their seven basic emotions: love, surprise, dislike, anger, happiness, sadness, and fear. When one of these seven emotions is not in complete balance, your body takes on a very alert attitude. This attitude is called double-edged. In some cases, it can help you, but in others it can affect your organism and your health when you cannot control it. That is why it is important to know what stress is in order to cope with it.

According to Dr. Elizabeth Martin Sarrate, “According to Doctor Isabel Martin Sarrate, “stress is not something that comes from outside, it is an answer of how the organism faces some facts from a personal subjective perception. Stress is the alteration of one of the seven emotions and the same situation can be perceived quite differently by someone else.”

In most cases, people associate the word stress with a negative emotion, but this is not true. Stress is nothing more than an internal reaction to something that happens and alters one of the seven emotions your body has. But there are two sides of the medal, one positive and one negative: positive stress and negative stress.

Positive stress helps you to manage challenges and the pressure of life as an automatic and vital resource to get-up-and-go. It also helps you to make decisions. It is considered “positive stress” when a person can control the situation and is motivated by the challenge. Stress is negative if a person sees no way out and cannot control the situation any more. Then, stress becomes dangerous.

The psychologist, Elizabeth Garcia Rincón says that negative stress becomes chronic if it is experienced too often. It attacks the immune system, less blood gets into the stomach, the reproductive and respiratory system.

Nowadays, in the middle of XXI century there are lots of reasons that cause stress. One of the main reasons is the permanent change in all aspects and phases of life, such as the way you live, dress, eat, go out, think, act, work, and so forth. All of these new adjustments demand a new ability to cope with and control these permanent changes in apositive way, until now, rather unknown. This can be called adoption!

The lack of life quality is due to the permanent state of awareness in which many people live due to the highspeed changes in technology, science, and medicine, in this consumer-driven society. The main problem is that the body experiences physical stress reactions which is the reason for a number of different disorders and aging in this new society. The latest statistics, conducted by the American Medical Association, revealed that 70% of consultations were taken because of psychosomatic symptoms, due to stress and only the remaining 30% revealed medical symptoms. [2] .

Briefly, stress is the result of adjusting your body and your mind to the new changes. Scientifically, stress is the physical and psychological reaction of an individual in order to adjust him/herself to external and internal stressand to adapt him/herself to the situation. If the person then becomes accustomed to the new situation, the stress will become positive. If the person is unable to adjust him/herself, this will result in negative stress.

After having seen the problem from a global and Latin American point of view, we would like to point out the situation in Cochabamba, taking into consideration the work of the Central University of Cochabamba and a sample composed for professionals and students from different areas who attended to the Educational Faire (in August 27, 2005). This initial sample will be used as a start for the research on stress which is taking place around us.

20 people were surveyed and it can be seen that most stress is related to and increases until people reach the age of fifty. Having passed this age, the stress becomes less most of the times. This information can be seen, in the following chart.

Based on the information presented, stress is also called the “Illness of the XXI century” in the City of Cochabamba for the working class. This has become a pathology which does not exclude any social classes. The question is what can the working class in Cochabamba do against it?

The answer will not come from nowhere, but there are already organizations to help people to cope with Stress; one of them is called the “International Stress Management Association (ISMA)” whose central objective is to promote stress prevention and well being by reducing stress. Its basic theory says it is important to ensure a good quality of life while controlling the stress. It is time for stressed people to start a new cycle against negative stress, so it can be controlled and overcome, which will lead to a fabulous personal and working life, hoping that positive stress will be the one that helps you manage every moment of your life. I hope this information will begin to reduce the stress in your life today!!

Moving away from domestic life

In the late nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth century Cochabamba was a highly patriarchal society. The man/father/patriarch not only dominated family life but was also considered a central figure in society. His power was present in all spheres of public life, whether as a policeman, a priest, a judge, a lawyer, a politician, a businessman or an artist...

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