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What is Stress?

Stress is the term used to describe a state of being in which humans cannot respond or adjust to certain situations; a stressful situation could occur emotionally, physically, or psychologically. Stress is often related to having too much to do, to having too many expectations, or to having a short deadline. There are plenty of demands that can create stressful situations.

Stress is actually a normal reaction in the human body, and everyone experiences it at one time or another. When we feel endangered or our bodies feel threatened, the human nervous system kicks into overdrive. Adrenaline is released when the nervous system kicks in, and that causes the body to go into a small state of shock. Blood pressure increases, the heart beats faster than normal, and your alertness, focus, and strength might increase as a result of stress. All of these factors prepare the body for the flight or fight phase, which allows you to either rise to the occasion (fight) or deny the challenge (flight).

How Stress Affects Your Life

It is normal to have a little bit of stress in your life. However, stress becomes a problem when you are completely overwhelmed and can't function because of it. There is a reason why stress is directly related to certain health factors in the human body! The most common side effects from stress include high blood pressure, emotional disorders, headaches, and sleeplessness. When you are under a lot of stress, it's common for the body to pump blood faster, for the sweat glands to produce more sweat, and for the appetite to decrease due to the digestive system being shut down. Even though appetite might decrease, weight gain is a common issue among high-stress individuals.

Types of Stress

There are several different kinds of stress, and the major types are eustress, distress, acute stress, hyper stress, hypo stress, and chronic stress.

  • Eustress is actually a positive form of stress. This word is based on the Greek word "eu" meaning "good". Eustress is usually formed from desirable (albeit highly demanding) situations.
  • Distress is when an individuals mental thought processes and emotions are confused. Distress often interferes with a person's ability to form stable relationships with others.
  • Acute Stress Disorder is a stress disorder that is developed by exposure to a severely traumatic event. Acute stress disorder usually only develops within a short period of time (hence the word "acute") and it can be related to a specific event as opposed to a build up of events over time.
  • Hypo Stress if a form of stress that is present when a person is under-stimulated. Hypo stress occurs when a person is bored or is not exercising their mind.
  • Hyper Stress, the opposite of hypo stress, occurs when an individual is over-stimulated. Hyper stress usually occurs when a person is under too much pressure or has unrealistic expectations.
  • Chronic Stress occurs when an individual experiences stressful situations over an extended period of time. A person who is in a high-stress job experiences chronic stress every day.

Tips for Managing Stress

Do you think you are stressed? There is an online quiz that can tell you about your personal lifestyle. Take the Stress Quiz and discover your true stress levels. It's important to manage stress in a healthy and timely fashion, because untreated stress can result in life-threatening illnesses and severe mental problems. There have been many studies that show a direct relationship between exercise and stress, and they suggest that active people effectively reduce their stress levels. Meditation is another popular stress reliever. The resources below can provide more help with stress management:

Article By Bubba

Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on Google+.

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