stay on top of stress

Stress is a part of our lives that should be managed appropriately to live healthily and happily. Not managing stress appropriately can lead to mental illness.

A Look At Stress

Stress Isn’t All Bad 

Positive stress can act as a motivator to accomplish goals. Most people have some control over the stressors that have negative affects.

Acute Stress 

  • Immediate physical response/fight or flight.
  • Severe acute stress can happen after a traumatic event.
  • Episodic acute stress – acute stress that happens frequently

Chronic Stress

  • Acute stress that hasn’t been resolved.
  • Stems from problems like poverty, job dissatisfaction, unhappy marriage, family life.
  • Can cause serious health issues like heart disease, depression, and suicide.

Who Gets Stressed?

  • Everyone – stress is part of the human experience.
  • Certain populations are at higher risk of stress.
  • People with poor health/health-related issues report the most stress (in US).

Positive Stress 

  • Physical Benefits
    • Athletic performance​
    • Pre-game ‘butterflies’ motivational​
  • Mental Benefits
    • Keep head clear and focused​
    • Help to think clearly​
  • Social Benefits 
    • Job interviewing​
    • Nervousness may keep you engaged in conversation, etc.

Negative Stress

  • Physical Distress
    • Fatigue, muscle soreness, compromised immune system, headaches, stomach aches​
  • Emotional Distress
    • Irritability, feeling of ‘loss of control’, anxiety, depression
  • Social Distress
    • Loss of friendships or relationships, conflict with others, poor relationships with partners, friends, family, dropping grades in school

Stress Not Addressed…

The consequences of not managing stress:

  • Mental health problems
  • Chemical health
  • Problems at work
  • Relationship problems
  • Addictive behaviors
  • Other behavioral problems

Common responses to negative stress

  • Disbelief, shock, and numbness
  • Feeling sad, frustrated, and helpless
  • Fear and anxiety about the future
  • Feeling guilty
  • Anger, tension, and irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Crying
  • Reduced interest in usual activities
  • Wanting to be alone
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Nightmares or bad memories
  • Reoccurring thoughts of the event
  • Headaches, back pains
  • Stomach problems
  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Smoking or use of alcohol/drugs

Steps to Managing Stress

Identify Stressors

  • Identify your stressors or triggers – remember to include positive events like buying a house.

Find Solutions

  • List possible solutions to tackle your problems. If you can’t change your stressor – change how you react to it.

Ask For Help 

  • You don’t have to do it alone. Friends and family are in our lives to support us – ask for help.

Maintain Healthy Lifestyle 

  • Develop and maintain positive healthy lifestyle choices to help prevent stress.

Develop a Support Network 

  • Invest in creating a circle of friends and people you can trust and rely on in times of need.