Recognizing and Dealing with Stress
Stress is often defined as a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset the balance of things in some way. The body has a way of protecting you in these times; this is known as the fight-or-flight, or stress, response.
Stress is not always harmful. Good stress allows you to stay alert and focused. For example, in a life-threatening situation, the stress response ultimately can have life-saving results. It can also help you in challenging situations, such as completing work tasks. However, there is also bad stress. Bad stress can cause damage to your overall well-being.
Many people often do not realize they are under stress until it has begun to consume them. It is important to recognize stress before it gets out of control. Stress can negatively affect your mental and emotional health and create interpersonal and relationship issues. It also can cause and exacerbate health issues such as: physical pain, skin rashes, digestive issues, sleep problems, depression/anxiety, heart problems, obesity, and autoimmune disorders.
How much stress is too much varies among individuals. Some people have a very high stress tolerance and may even enjoy stress to a certain extent; others may have a very low tolerance.
It is important to be able to recognize the causes of stress. If you are able to identify the causes, you can begin to find ways to successfully manage your stressors.
Causes of stress can be broken down into four main categories: general, life, work and internal.
General stressors include fear and uncertainty. Fear, whether real or perceived, results in stress.
Uncertainty also produces stress. When we cannot predict an outcome we can feel a lack of control, which can produce stress.