Stress is a normal part of life that everyone experiences from time to time. Stress is the body’s response to a demand, challenge or threat. When you are stressed, stress hormones are released to alert and prepare the body. This response is often known as the, “fight, flight or freeze response”, which can occur within minutes, hours or days.
Stressors can be a single event, happen repeatedly or accumulate over time. Stress responses or triggers may be due to running late, getting stuck in traffic, responsibilities or pressures at work or school, relationship, health or money issues, arguments, sudden or major life changes or traumatic experiences. Everyone experiences stress differently. Stress can have physical, emotional, behavioral and interpersonal responses depending upon each person and the particular stressor.
Physical, Emotional, behavioral and interpersonal responses may include:
Loss of Sleep
Sleeping too much
Lack of control
Unable to focus
Easily frustrated, Moody or upset
Scattered, racing thoughts
Constant worrying or uneasiness
Heart rate increases
Blood pressure increases
Breathing rate rises
Blood sugar level rises
Loss of appetite
Aches & Pains
Not all stress is bad, there are times when stress can be good, such as surviving a dangerous situation or preparing for a test, interview or athletic event. However, if stress is left unmanaged it can cause serious health issues, for instance depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
33% of people feel extreme stress
77% feels stress has some impacts on physical health
73% of people’s experience mental health impacts
48% of people feel report sleep issues
43% of people who experience high amounts of stress increased risk of dying
182,000 Americans die prematurely from thinking “stress is bad”
Stress management is important as it helps you maintain focus, energy and alertness to rise up above pressures and challenges. Preventing and managing your stress can lower risks for health conditions, improve sleep, mood, interactions with family and friends, weight control and muscle tension. The goal is to establish a balance with relationships, work, fun, relaxation and resilience. When you are undergoing a lot of stress, it is vital to notice its affects and learn best practices to manage your stress.
Stress Assessment Tool
Perceived Stress Scale: Questions regarding your feelings and thoughts to help identify your perceived stress levels.