Hans Selye, the father of stress theory,
defined stress as “the nonspecific
response of the body to any demand made
The response is automatic and
immediate and can be good when it helps
us perform better.
If, however, we are unable to
deal with life’s obligations and
pressures, stress can have a significant
negative impact on our physical and
stress can be caused by things such as
lack of sleep, poor diet, illness or the
abuse of alcohol or drugs.
Mental stress can arise as the
result of many things including
personal, financial, family or
Whatever the cause, we feel
mentally stressed when the demands on
our system are not met with equally
effective coping strategies.
We feel unsettled, perhaps
threatened - as if we are losing
are several signs of stress overload.
Review the following checklist.
Should you find that many of
these symptoms describe your current
state, you are indeed stressed!
to focus/lack of concentration
(high blood pressure)
problems (tachycardia, palpitations)
eating patterns (over-eating or
treatment of others
smoking or alcohol consumption
much stress can cause relatively minor
illnesses such as insomnia and headaches
but can also contribute to potentially
life-threatening illnesses such as high
blood pressure and heart disease.
We must take stress seriously.
If you feel that you are
stressed, there is something you can do
Here are a few suggestions for
alleviating and coping with stress:
Order your activities in level of
importance and take on only one task at
Pick one urgent task and work on
When it’s done, choose the next
The feeling of accomplishment
will motivate you to keep going.
to say “No!”
Reduce the demands on yourself by
eliminating activities that aren’t
You may be taking on more
responsibility than you can handle.
Incorporate relaxation techniques
and exercise into your life.
Vigorous exercise helps to calm
overactive mental activity. Some find other hobbies such as singing, dancing or listening
to music equally as effective.
The key is to find some channel
that reduces the tension and pent-up
care of yourself.
Good nutrition makes a huge
Decrease or discontinue the use
Choose healthy foods, get
exercise and get adequate rest.
Slow down, and allow more time
Reward yourself when you have
things in perspective.
Some things may not be as
important as you think.
Expecting too much of yourself or
others can be disappointing if those
expectations are not realized.
If you are a parent, ask yourself
what your children will remember more,
that your house was spotless or that you
spent time with them.
all else fails, get help.
If you find yourself unable to
deal with the stress in your life, see
your family doctor.