Stress is the body’s way of preparing for danger. It’s a normal physical response to threatening events, and it’s often thought of as a feeling of physical or emotional tension. Physical stress can happen after a trauma (such as surgery or an accident), and emotional stress can happen after a loss (or whenever life situations become overwhelming or unmanageable).
Stress can be caused by both good and bad events. Major difficulties like divorce, death of a loved one, or job loss are very stressful, but happy events like weddings, the birth of a baby, starting a new job, or relocating to a new area can also be stressful. Some stress is normal because it provides energy and alertness. However, uncontrolled stress can be dangerous to your health. The body reacts just as strongly to small everyday stresses as it does to life-threatening stresses.
Chronic stress can cause symptoms such as headaches, rapid heartbeat, and muscle tension, and it can cause a heart attack, a stroke, and speed up the aging process. Emotional symptoms include irritability, sleeplessness, and an inability to concentrate. It is estimated that at least half of all visits to doctors' offices can be attributed to stress-related illnesses.
Coping with stress begins with identifying the causes. Learning relaxation techniques, learning to set boundaries, and taking time off are a few coping mechanisms. Simple changes can sometimes bring relief, and little things like stress balls can be very helpful as well. Here are some links to more information about stress:
Stressors and Stress Responses
Sources and causes of Stress
Coping with Stress
Decision Making under Stress
Making Environmental Changes
Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy
Achieving a relaxation response
Teaching stress management
Stress Management Research
In small doses, stress can provide extra energy, more excitement, and help a person perform well under pressure. But stress can be a killer when it becomes chronic. It is important to learn stress management so that it doesn’t spiral out of control.
Inspired by Office Space: 5 Stress-Killing Promotional Products
What to Do to Relieve Stress
Stress Management Tips
Exam Time Stress Management Tips
How to Deal with Job Stress
How to Relieve Stress for Customer Service Reps
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Resources
Stress Management: Basic Principles
Tips for Managing Stress
What is Stress?