What is Stress: General Overview
Dictionary.com defines stress as “the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain.” In the case of our everyday lives, stress comes from many directions as we juggle life’s responsibilities and experiences.
Expectations are placed on us every day. Some of those expectations are more stressful than others, and some of them are so routine and mundane that we don’t even bat an eye.
These situations or experiences can be called “stressors” or “stress triggers”. A stress trigger, in this context, is one that brings on symptoms of stress.
We all deal with these stressors and experiences in different ways and we all experience different stress symptoms in terms of stress triggers, and onset and severity of stress symptoms. Over time, prolonged periods of stress can lead to heart disease and decrease the effectiveness of our immune system.
Physical Symptoms of Stress
If you’re feeling stressed, your body may show it through:
• Muscle tension or pain
• Chest pain
• Change in sex drive
• Upset stomach, ulcers
• Difficulty sleeping
These are rather obvious and common physical signs of stress. Some lesser known ones include:
• Hair loss and some forms of baldness
• Mouth ulcers and dryness
• High blood pressure
• Increase in asthma-related symptoms
• Menstrual disorders, recurrent vaginal infections
• Impotence and premature ejaculation
• Outbreaks of eczema or psoriasis
Emotional Symptoms of Stress
There are also emotional signs of stress such as:
• Lack of motivation or focus
• Irritability or being easily angered
• Sadness or depression
Of course the people that can be affected most by these signs of stress are the people we care about and who care about us. Stress doesn’t have to be spoken out loud. It naturally permeates the entire atmosphere of a home and affects our ability to take care of our families and provide a safe, secure environment for them.