How can Stress Be Defined? What are some of the Symptoms in Adults?


Stress is part of people’s lives. Stress can be defined in 2 different ways: Stress can be termed as the psychological perception of pressure and the body’s response to handling pressure. Stress can involve various systems in a person’s body like metabolism to muscles and memory. Stress can be categorized into 2 main sub types. Good Stress otherwise called Eustress help us in performing better in our daily lives, whereas Bad Stress also known as Distress can impair our performance and can contribute to major illness in our bodies.

Stress is very frequent or can be severe and can impact the quality of a person’s life. Stress can have various sources. It could be due to relationship with other individuals, work, study demands, coping with a major illness, Major life events such as marriage, death of a loved one, retirement or divorce, day to day activities and tasks, positive events such as vacations or parties, juggling multiple tasks simultaneously.

Sometimes, people are aware of what could possibly trigger their stress, this could increase their ability to handle stress appropriately or mismanage stress. May people are unable to deal with the stress they face in their lives. For such individuals, identifying stressors is a vital step to tackle their stress. If an Individual constantly experiences stress, then it is necessary to take some time to understand what triggers stress in their bodies.

Sometimes, Individuals do not understand that they are stressed, until symptoms begin to occur. Some symptoms of stress include:

  1. Irritability or moodiness,
  2. Interrupted Sleep,
  3. Overeating or Lack of Appetite
  4. Worrying or feeling Anxious,
  5. Constant Back and Neck Pains,
  6. Rashes or Skin Breakouts,
  7. Frequent Headaches and Migraines,
  8. Upset Stomach,
  9. Chest Pains,
  10. Increased Blood Pressure,
  11. Existing Physical Issues tend to get worse
  12. Being prone more frequently to Cold/ Flu
  13. Slower Recovery from Illnesses (Cold/ Flu)

These Symptoms of Stress have the potential to reduce the quality of life in an individual. When an individual suffers from Stress, it has a negative impact on their Relationships and their Work Performance. Therefore, it is essential to learn the right coping mechanisms to tackle stress before stress destroys us Physical and Emotional Health.

Author: Ms. Esther John Mathews, Clinical Psychologist

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