What is stress ?
What is stress? I get that question a lot, and my answer is always the same: "it's many things". There are different Definitions of Stress and just as many different perceptions of stress - some may feel stressed every day and thrive with it, while others may only experience the annual holiday stress but suffer greatly from it.
What Is Stress? Fact 1
First it is important to realize, that stress is not black and white. The answers to what stress is, or how stressed you are, or how you can relieve stress - all depend on you.
Stress does not come in fixed amounts - it flows up and down depending on different factors, and so stress is more a case of high and low then yes and no. See what causes stress in the Causes of Stress article.
This is, however, both good and bad: If stress was a case of "there, not there", it would be easy for people to recognize what stress is in their life and then eliminate that stressful factor. On the other hand, if you learn to see and act upon the Signs of Stress, you will be able to live a fulfilling life without having to cut anything off just because it may be stressful to you.
What Is Stress? Fact 2
Second, stress is a natural response that we all benefit from. The stress response that is triggered in you, when you are exposed to, say, danger makes you react quicker and may save your life. The same processes that made our ancestors run from the lions are still present in us today. One of the big problems with the stress or fight-or-flight response is that it drains the body, making us tired. As an example, if you have ever tried to jump for your life in traffic, weren't you tired/exhausted afterwards? How about your last job interview or exam? …
Now imagine if you go through that same day over and over. Then you are exposed to stress all of the time, and the effects can be severe. See the effects of stress and stressful living.
Are You Stressed?
You may ask yourself that question. You may even ask it daily. Truth is that there is a good chance that you have experienced stress already and so you know what it is, and may be able to recognize it in the future. If you have not already been exposed to persistent stress, chances are that you will be in the future. Who can be stressed and what is stress?
If you are not sure whether you or someone you care for are stressed or not, see if you are stressed here or take a Stress Test.
What Types of Stress?
When asking "what is stress?", you may as well ask "what types of stress are there?". Again, there is a whole set to cover, from your everyday sweaty palms to Anxiety Stress or Acute Stress Disorder
To sum up: Stress comes in many forms and types, and it can and will affect every one of us in varying degrees. It can just as helpful as it can be harmful!
Are You a Burnout?
This is one of the most well-known, common forms of stress effects; feeling burned out. It is an unfortunate outcome of years of constant exposure to stress. The reason that it is so widely known is also unfortunate: The failure to see the signs of stress. Feeling a little burned out?
What is Stress Related Diseases?
Stress related diseases are getting more and more recognition in the public. Constant exposure to stress or living in a stressful environment can have several negative effects, to get an overview see the effects of general stress here
On the very end of the scale, we have stress related diseases. These diseases have been shown to correlate with a high level of stress. If you are showing any of the Severe Signs of Stress, you might want to go and see your doctor unless you already have. This is not to scare anybody, but the techniques and methods I provide on these pages are not to be taken as medical advice, but as a general help to achieving a less stressful life! Read more about Stress Related Diseases (SRD) here.
What Can You Do?
So what can you do to relieve stress or reduce the stress level in your life? Fortunately alot, and this entire site is dedicated to that!
If the site structure seem a bit overwhelming I apologize, a good place to look first though is here: What Can You Do?
If you are looking for a specific topic or want to learn more about stress, you can
use the search utility on the main page.