Understanding Anxiety/Stress in Systems, and Relationship to System Health
by John P. Reisman © 1989, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2003, 2011
Why we need a new perspective on health.
Advancements in understanding and the lag time between new understanding and dissemination of knowledge is speeding up. Health has always been a relative term to a degree and measurable to a degree. We know when someone is sick because normal function of particular systems in the body begin to break down due to and resulting from change factors. We know when a system is unhealthy because while breaking down stressors become more noticeable. What we need to know is how to prevent breakdown.
This is not to say that unhealthy systems should not break down as that is a natural progression of evolving systems in order to maintain health of larger systems, collateral systems or subsystems and it is a function of evolution (natural selection).
In relation to humankind, this means greater prescience (pre-science) in understanding in order to reduce the potential breakdown of healthy systems. This translates to greater efficiency i.e reduced costs and greater potential for healthy outcomes in relation to critical interrelated systems. In general systems and Living Systems we find a constructive potential that allows a basis to develop methods of identifying prescient anxiety through qualitative and increasingly quantitative potentials. The Health definition was developed in part as a means by which to explore quantitative potential. This of course may lead to better methods of identifying system health and unhealth enabling society and governments a means by which to improve overall relevant system health by identifying issues before they become significant stressors.
The Health Definition: Defining Health
For the purpose of the Health Model (originally called the 'anxiety model'): the following definitions regarding health are utilized as a foundation for understanding and gauging health relative inter and intra-system health.
Note: There were other interim developments between 1993 and 2011 but I have not been able to locate those files. If found they will be added to the chronology.
Health Definition (1989)
Anything that reduces anxiety/stress in individual and/or group systems.
Anything that increases anxiety/stress in individual and/or group systems.
Health Definition (1993)
: anything that reduces anxiety and/or stress, simultaneously and/or consequentially, on an individual and/or group basis, with consideration of short, medium and long-term consequences.
: anything that increases anxiety and/or stress, simultaneously and/or consequentially, on an individual and/or group basis, with consideration of short, medium and long-term consequences.
Health Definition (2011)
Anything that results in reduced anxiety and/or stress, simultaneously and/or consequentially, within and/or between individual and/or groups of systems, with consideration of short and long term consequences, in relation to parent, co-lateral, and sub-systems, with consideration of event magnitude, and cause/effect relationships with surrounding systems, resulting in an increase of overall survivability, and/or sustainability, of critical systems and related relevant critical parent, co-lateral, and subsystems, and relevant interactions.
Anything that results in increased anxiety and/or stress, simultaneously and/or consequentially, within and/or between individual and/or groups of systems, with consideration of short and long term consequences, in relation to parent, co-lateral, and sub-systems, with consideration of event magnitude, and cause/effect relationships with surrounding systems, resulting in a decrease of overall survivability, and/or sustainability, of critical systems and related relevant critical parent, co-lateral, and subsystems, and relevant interactions.
Short, Medium and Long Term Considerations
Time is relative as Einstein has noted. The 2011 definition reduced the timer consideration to short and long and still these would require context for specific applications depending on what system was the area of focus as well as it's relationship to other systems that might be interacting with different timer considerations. It should be understood within the model that sometimes short, or medium, term anxiety must be increased in order to achieve long term health in a system, on an individual and/or group basis. By considering short, medium and long-term health/unhealth, one can more easily find a basis for increasing anxiety at a certain stage enabling the system of focus (in relation to its surrounding systems), individual, and/or group to achieve higher degrees of health.
The Health Definition Model is based on recognition of anxiety and stress in a system or, an individual and/or group environment, in order to prevent the more severe consequences of manifest behavior and societal neurosis that stems from ignoring the anxiety. Since the majority of modern psychology is still based on fixing things after they are broken, this model enables cognition allowing the modification prior to consequences of behavior or, before manifest behavior grows to a proportion that is less easily manageable in societal and economic terms.
Application of Model
Application of the model reaches beyond belief system boundaries where borders of geopolitical and belief systems are relatively close, or crossing each other through inter-dynamic relationships.
Scope of Definition
This model may be applied to individual and group psychologies, molecular, cellular, organ (neuro-physical/chemical), medical, as well as regional, national and geo-political, individual and group social systems, economic systems, biological, geophysical, planetary, and universal systems.
When both rules of the definition are applied, recognition of the relative health or lack of health of a given system is determinable to various degrees, be they quantitative of qualitative.
Examining anxiety and stress in this way allows for new types of understanding regarding the relative health of a given system in relation to its surrounding systems.
The actual measurement of qualitative/quantitative values regarding anxiety and stress are subject to methods of understanding and thereby human perception. However, in society and in individuals, stress and anxiety is beginning to be better understood. In society it is measured in blue and white collar crime as well as economy and societal/government function and efficiency. For individuals it is through blood chemistry, brain and body function.
Anxiety as a Qualitative/Quantitative Measurement
In accord with the Webster’s definition, anxiety is prescient or anticipatory. The reason anxiety may exist is the anticipation, or the natural systems prescience resulting from behaviors that are, or may soon occur. Therefore, anxiety seen as a predecessor to what may occur. Understanding “Health” in this way allows the viability of new types of societal forethought.
Stress as a Qualitative/Quantitative Measurement
In accord with the Webster’s definition, stress is tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium. The reason stress may exist is the dynamic pressures between systems, or the natural systems dynamic result from behaviors that have occurred. Therefore, stress between systems is an indicator of the degree of health of the system.