Stress is what a person experiences whenever they are faced with an event or situation that they perceive as challenging to their ability to cope. How people react, which can vary on different occasions, is due to the difference between the demands of the situation and the perception of how well they can cope with the situation is what determines how much stress they will feel.
However stress is very difficult to define, most people know roughly what it is, but then have difficulty in finding an apt definition for it. Different people react differently to each situation and set of circumstances, one day they may be able to cope with and tolerate something and the next they may have a completely different set of reactions – very difficult therefore to define it, as each individual would come up with a separate definition.
Stress can be a positive force in our lives. Some people thrive on stress, the challenges, deadlines, going in for the kill etc, it increases the adrenaline and can add to the enjoyment and satisfaction of our lives.
As with other addictions some people can become hooked on the adrenaline secretions that occur during a stress response. Some people need this boost to feel truly alive, and need this kind of stimulation. This explains the fact that workaholics are only happy when they are at work, rushing about, making phone calls, and why the same people are at a loss and are unable to relax when faced with the prospect of taking time off, and embarking on a holiday – they are on edge unless doing something.
Most of our stress can be self-created. Feeling stressed is a two-part process. First we need something “out there” to trigger the stress, and then we need to perceive that trigger as stressful. Then we feel stressed. We empower these external events and situations by the ways in which we view them. Our attitudes and beliefs about any potentially stressful situation or event can determine how much stress we experience. By changing the way we look at a potential stressful situation, we can change the way we emotionally react to that situation.
For a situation or circumstance to trigger stress, we have to see that situation as stressful. However what is stressful for somebody else may be less stressful for me or maybe not stressful at all. It is not only the triggering event that causes the stress, but also our perceptions and expectations about the potentially stressful event that determines how stressed we feel.
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