For many people, stress is simply a part of everyday life, whether it arises from a difficult work situation, or family issues. The term stress does not refer to an illness of any kind, so much as a process or reactive experience. When people declare they are suffering from stress they are usually referring to the pressures they are feeling in their lives. In that sense, stress signifies a discrepancy between the demands placed on us by ourselves or others, and our feelings of being able to cope or meet expectations.
Stress is not necessarily a negative thing in itself. A degree of stress can be motivating, exciting even, and can prevent us from becoming bored from lack of challenge. It only really becomes a problem when it accelerates beyond a person's resources to cope, and results in feelings of being overwhelmed. In this article, we will be talking predominantly about negative stress, and how it can be effectively managed.
Examples Of Negative Stress
There are many common sources of stress, and most of us will experience at least one of them at some point in our lives. These include:
- Work stress - for example stress from excessive demands, tight deadlines, poor working conditions, long hours, fatigue and lack of breaks, workplace conflict, bullying, and insufficient resources to perform the job adequately.
- Home / family stress - stress resulting from parenthood (for instance after the birth of a new baby, or coping with teens), financial pressures, relationship problems, role-juggling, and high expectations of self.
- Study stress - can result from high study loads and deadlines, learning difficulties, looming exams, fear of letting parents or teachers down, and social issues such as conflict or bullying.
- Other types of stress - these might come from relationship difficulties, lifestyle pressures (such as the desire to get fit or lose weight), feelings of being overwhelmed by world news, and so on.