Stress Awareness and Management

Stress Management


What happens when you are stressed?

Stress is your body's response to a hard situation. Your body can have a physical, emotional, or mental response. Stress is a fact of life for most people, and it affects everyone differently. What causes stress for you may not be stressful for someone else.

A lot of things can cause stress. You may feel stress when you go on a job interview, take a test, or run a race. This kind of short-term stress is normal and even useful. It can help you if you need to work hard or react quickly. For example, stress can help you finish an important job on time.

Long-term stress is caused by ongoing stressful situations or events. Examples of long-term stress include long-term health problems, ongoing problems at work, or conflicts in your family. Long-term stress can harm your health.

How do you measure your stress level?

What causes stress for you may not cause stress for someone else. Only you can figure out whether you have too much stress in your life.

Answer these questions to learn more about your stress:

What job, family, or personal stress do you have?
Stress can be caused by an ongoing personal situation such as caring for a family member.
Have you had any recent major life changes?
Getting married, moving to a new city, or losing a job can all be stressful.
Do your beliefs cause you stress?
Some people feel stress because their beliefs conflict with the way they live their life.
How do you cope with stress?
The ways that you cope with your stress can help you or make stress worse. For example, sleep helps your body recover from the stresses of the day. Not getting enough sleep means you lose the chance to recover from stress.

How can you relieve stress?

Here are some ways to relieve stress.

  • Be active. Exercise and activity can help reduce stress. Walking is a great way to get started.
  • Do something you enjoy, like a favorite hobby or listening to music.
  • Meditate. This can help you relax by focusing more on the present moment.
  • Do guided imagery. Imagine yourself in any setting that helps you feel calm. You can use online videos, books, or a teacher to guide you.
  • Express your feelings. Talk with supportive friends or family, a counselor, or a faith leader about your feelings. Avoid discussing your feelings with people who make you feel worse. Try writing about how you feel. It may help you to see what's causing stress so you can find ways to cope.