Stress is any physical, emotional or chemical factor that provokes unease.  Many people associate the term stress with psychological stress.

However, the medical community uses this term to represent any force that impairs the stability and balance of bodily functions. Physical and chemical factors that can cause stress include trauma, infections, toxins, illnesses and injuries of any sort. Emotional causes of stress are numerous and varied.

Stress affects people from all walks of life. The level of stress in our lives is dependent upon individual factors such as our physical health, the quality of our interpersonal relationships and the responsibilities we carry. Living a stress-free life is unrealistic since stress is found in everyday occurrences.

At times, mild stress may even be beneficial by allowing us to focus with more energy on a project, for example. It is only when stress is poorly managed, that the negative effects appear. People with strong social support networks report less stress and overall improved mental health in comparison to those without these social contacts. People who are poorly nourished, get inadequate sleep or who are physically unhealthy also have reduced capabilities to handle the pressures of everyday stress.

Stress Reduction Tips

  • Identify sources of stress
  • Avoid unnecessary stress
  • Alter your circumstance
  • Adapt to the stressor
  • Examine how you cope with stress
  • Accept the things you cannot change
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle
  • Make time in your schedule for fun and relaxation

See Also

  • Self-Assessment

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