Academic discussions on the history of stress tend to start with Walter Cannon’s 1914 study of how emotions influence illness or with Han Selye’s 1950s proposal of a three-stage general adaptation syndrome through which people cope with daily life. Although social science, business, media, and global governance organizations might be able to share some credit for the global obsession with the “the disease of our times” (Manzies, 2005, p. 59), the concepts and terms around stress research have evolved over centuries. Stress is hardly unique to modern humans.
The history of stress: From ancient wisdom to killer disease
- Written by Brent Duncan, PhD