Stress is a common problem that affects almost all of us at some point in our lives. In a recent poll, 89 percent of people said they had experienced serious stress in their lives. Learning to identify when you are under stress, what is stressing you, and different ways of coping with stress, can greatly improve both your mental and physical well being. It's almost impossible to live without some stress. And most of us wouldn't want to, because it gives life some spice and excitement. But, if stress gets out of control, it may harm your health, your relationships, and your enjoyment of life.
Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. Stress is the emotional and physical strain caused by our response to pressure from the outside world. Anything that poses a challenge or a threat to our well-being is a stress.
Stresses can be positive or negative. It could be something like a work deadline, having to give a public speech. It could also be something like entering a marriage or a new relationship or changing jobs. Then we also have the way that we respond to that challenge -- that's also called stress. And our response to that challenge has a physiological component which basically affects our body. When we're in the face of a challenge or a threat, our body mobilizes all of our resources so that we can protect ourselves. So for example, if you're in the woods and you're walking and 20 yards away from you there's a bear, you want your body to mobilize all of its resources so that you have enough energy to either run away from that bear, or fight that bear.
Common stress reactions...