When experiencing stress, you may be affected totally, not only
in your body but also in your emotional reactions, your personal
thoughts, and your relations with others.
The following list of stress symptoms contains the
most typical reactions to stress. It can also help you begin focusing
on ways to manage stress. Check any symptoms you have noticed
lately in yourself. Add any symptoms that are not on the list.
change in appetite
tighten up/ neck and shoulders ache
drug, tobacco use
no new ideas
lowered sex drive
lashing out with friends
Excessive stress in your life interferes with your
interpersonal relationships at home, on the job, and socially.
It can make you spend your efforts on not being unhappy, rather
than on being happy. Stress can waste your vitality and deplete
your personal energy resources that could be used for enjoyment.
You can become negatively influenced in your attitudes
and feelings about yourself more easily. In addition, medical
research estimates as much as 90 percent of illness and disease
is stress-related. Stress can interfere with your physical functioning
and bodily processes like:
· High blood pressure
· Cardiovascular disease, and heart disease have been linked
to stress factors
· Other stress-related ailments include ulcers, allergies,
asthma, and migraine headaches.
Stress may trigger:
· High cholesterol
Causes of Stress
Most health professionals agree stress can be a contributing factor
in making existing medical problems worse. Environmental and societal
pressures, our competitive, success-oriented way of life may lead
us to potentially hazardous health.
Everyone differs in what is stressful or potentially
stressful. What for one person might seem to be a catastrophic
event may be a minor setback for another.
· Fears Cause Stress
Some physical fears that can cause stress are:
· Dangerous machinery;
· Exposure to toxic chemicals;
· Dangerous, congested traffic.
Psychological fears associated with stress include:
· Not being able to get the job done;
· Inability to manage debts; and
· Adult children who do not want the family business.
· Uncertainty Causes Stress
In each person’s life there are uncertainties that can cause
stress. The change of a job may necessitate many other changes
in the life of a person or family members. Trying to sell a home
and buy another in the new location may be stressful. Logic and
informed predictions have a place, but often stress piles up because
there are so many “unknowns” in such situations.
Life is filled with uncertainty. It is discomforting
not to know what is going to happen, particularly if your control
of the situation is impeded by:
· Government policies and controls;
· Market fluctuations;
· Interest rates;
· Mechanical breakdowns; and
Uncertainty may cause feelings of being out of control,
which can cause stress.
· Attitudes Cause Stress
A positive or negative attitude influences a person’s reaction
to stressful situations. For example, if you feel your job is
worthwhile, you may see some of the problems you encounter as
challenges. Seen as pluses, the problems or potential problems
become motivators. However, if you resent your situation or feel
“stuck” in your job, similar experiences create stress,
a stress that frustrates instead of motivating you.
· Perceptions Cause Stress
Past experiences and the resources you feel you have available
to meet life’s demands will affect the degrees of stress
you may experience. The degree of stress experienced will be affected
by your perception of your ability to meet the particular demands.
How you perceive the situation determines if it is or is not stressful.
Perception can be broken down in the following ways:
· Self Your sense of competency, self-esteem,
values, interests, needs.
· Resources Personal resources: Past experience in handling
Material resources: Finances, equipment, storage; and People resources:
Other people who can assist you, such as friends, coworkers, family
· Change Causes Stress
All change produces stress, even positive changes. Marriage is
a positive change that is also a period when adjustment is necessary.
For some people, this adjustment can be stressful. A vacation
may also be stressful; arrangements must be made for the trip
and for work, and there is always a tendency to plan too many
Negative changes are not as difficult to identify as stress-producing.
These are situations you would not like to occur, such as children
leaving home to start careers, economic recession causing financial
crisis, or loss of a valuable possession.
Change demands your adjustment to the particular situation, whether
you desire the change or not. Developmental changes that you are
able to plan for— pregnancy and birth, children growing
up, the aging process—may still be stressful even though
The following are more examples of stress-causing
· Work/business Operational change due to technological
advancement; Major change in responsibility or work load due to
shift in partnership; Expansion or reduction in production; Increasing
skills to increase efficiency, and Inflationary operating costs.
· Personal Illness or injury; Personal achievement
or disappointment, and Retirement.
· Social Illness or death of close friend;
Beginning or ending of formal education; Change in social activities;
and Involvement in community service.
· Financial Major change in financial state;
Major purchase (home, equipment, land); Additional family expenses
(education, insurance, illness); and Partial liquidation. What
changes have you and family members experienced in the past several