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Understanding Stress - What is Stress & Anxiety?

Have you ever experienced being irritable, tense, unable to concentrate at work? Then, you might be experiencing stress and anxiety. Stress is a normal thing to experience day to day. Stress is all around us. Any circumstance, interaction or event in life, at work or at home or even on the street is a potential stress or anxiety causing event.

We all experience it and we all talk about it but have you ever stopped and wondered what stress really is? What does it do and how can it affect people? If you do, then keep reading as we are here to discuss that bogeyman of modern day life – Stress & Anxiety!

Stress is any response of the body from any demand placed upon it to cope or adapt whether those demands are produced by pleasure or pain. Stress may cause either physical or emotional pressure on the individual. The most common signs of stress are irritability, lack on concentration, a pounding heartbeat, stage or performance fright, sweating and even muscle tremors, usually in the hands or legs. There are as many reactions to stress as there are people.

People couldn’t possibly live life as we live it without stress. It gives drive, motivation, spice, passion and excitement in life. You can say it is the one thing that drives us forward, to strive for more and to do well in whatever we do. Stress can be viewed and experienced as good or bad. Good stress is stress that affects a person in a positive way like the experience of joining a contest. It gives you stress but it stress that gives you motivation to win. That is a good stress while bad stress is when it affects a person in a negative way like when a close relative dies. It that situation it can bring severe physical and psychological reactions such as depression, despair or sleeplessness. Stress will affect different people in different ways as everyone is an individual, or to put it in a different way, everyone has different responses when faced with various stress and stressors. It can often be the same response but different in its intensity and reaction. For example, two guys brreak up with their respective girlfriends. One guy might be extremely upset and depressed and withdraw from life for a while the other guy might get mad and cause damage to people and property. They were both frustrated and sad but they showed different responses to the same stressor.

There are a lot of stressors that can affect people. Stressors can be anything; even the simple tying of a necktie can be a source of stress at times, especially if you are in a hurry. How you handle stress depends on you. It is up to you and how you view the world and your place in it that will determine whether a source of stress becomes a motivating force of a depressing force. Ongoing stress can be a major problem if not handled properly though. Many diseases are associated with stress and a lot of people seek medical help because of stress-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease or blood pressure problems. Stress therefore needs to be managed properly to avoid or overcome stress-related illnesses. There is a variety of stress management programs out there that can help you cope with stress. The most effective stress management programs are the ones that align with your lifestyle and view of life. A stress management system that attempts to have you conform to it's (or more accurately its designer's) ideology can be as stressful as not managing the problem in the first place.

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