Adult Stress Managementby Gloria S. Elder, M.A.
What is Stress? Stress is anything that causes a change in your body.Â Everyone has stress, regardless of age, sex or race.Â Stress is a natural part of living, but too much stress can cause illness and sometimes death.Â In every day terms, stress is better known as the tension or pressure we feel as our bodies respond to everyday demands and changes.Â All stress is not bad nor does all stress have a negative effect on us.Â Some stress we experience is good and has a positive and motivating effect on us.Â We have problems when we have too much or too little stress in our lives.Â Too much stress causes us to feel tense and pressured; this creates conflict in our experiences.Â Too little stress makes us feel bored, unmotivated and lethargic.Â This too creates conflict within us and sometimes with others.Â Therefore it is important to maintain a proper level of stress in your life.Â This can be done by learning about what stress is, its cause, signs and solutions. Stress is defined by Hans Selye as the body's response to any demand placed on it.Â Simply defined, stress is anything that causes a change in your body.Â These changes are triggered by different feelings such as sadness, fear, anger and happiness. Every time your feelings change your body changes and this results in stress. The body gives you signals to let you know that you are experiencing stress. Some signs of stress are, headaches, backaches, nightmares, inability to sleep, etc.Â Stress can be caused by a number of things happening in your life at any point and time.Â For example it could be not having enough money; poor self- concept, death, divorce, winning an award, or completing a course in school to earn a degree.Â The causes can be both good or bad stress.Â To maintain a balanced level of stress one can learn solutions to managing everyday stressors.Â A stressor is what causes stress.Â Wholistic stress management techniques have been developed to manage the total person: mind, body and spirit.Â The key is to learn what triggers your personal stress and to practice the techniques that work for you, to create a balance that is right for you.Â No two people experience stress in exactly the same way, nor does everyone react to the same triggers.Â It is for these reasons that managing stress requires a personal, self-assessing, pro-active commitment from each person in order to effectively create a more healthy lifestyle, and the experience of well-being.