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Resource Center » Stress Management: Basic Principles

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

  • Health Scout offers detailed information on stress management.

Sources and causes of Stress

Stress-Related Disorders

  • The Life Sciences Institute lists disorders caused by or worsened by stress.
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is researching work organization and stress-related disorders.

Coping with Stress

  • Mayo Clinic offers information on coping with stress.
  • Web MD summarizes different ways to relax and manage stress.
  • Music therapy as an alternative way to cope 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.

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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