Stress Less: The Basics
What is stress?
Stress is your body’s normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. These reactions can have positive and negative effects.
Stress has positive effects when it makes us deal constructively with daily problems and challenges. It can help you stay focused, energetic, and alert.
But if it becomes continuous, stress stops being helpful and starts causing negative effects on your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life. If not managed, stress can lead to high blood pressures, heart disease, drug and alcohol abuse or depression.
What causes stress?
Stress is often caused by some type of change. Even positive changes, like marriage or a job promotion, can be stressful. Stress can be short–term or long–term.
|Common causes of short term stress
||Common causes of long term stress|
- Too much to do and not much time
- Lots of little problems in the same day (like a traffic jam and running late)
- Getting lost
- Having an argument
- Divorce or problems in a marriage
- Death of a loved one
- Problems at work
- Money problems
- Caring for someone who is sick
What are the signs of stress?
|Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms |
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor judgment
- Seeing only the negative
- Anxious or racing thoughts
- Constant worrying
- Irritability or short temper
- Agitation, inability to relax
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Sense of loneliness and isolation
- Depression or general unhappiness
- Aches and pains
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea, dizziness
- Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
- Loss of sex drive
- Frequent colds
- Eating more or less
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Isolating yourself from others
- Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
- Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
- Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)