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- August 23, 2003 /
- by Stonebriar Counseling Associates /
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We become physically drained and emotionally strained when we are preoccupied with busyness that our reaction ends up being an over-reaction. Therefore, by definition, stress is any type of action or situation that places conflicting or heavy demands upon a person. And, these demands upset the body’s equilibrium and may chronically be irritating or upsetting. Life alternates between times of calmness—stress—and crisis. Psychologists have long noted that people are more efficient and productive when they have some stress (it can build character, enhance creativity, keep us on our social toes as law abiding citizens). However, if stress becomes intense, the efficiency begins to decrease accordingly. What is stressful to one person may not be to someone else. So, what makes people unprepared to handle stress?People can experience either external or internal stressors. For example, external stressors include adverse physical conditions (such as pain or hot or cold temperatures) or stressful psychological environments (such as poor working conditions or abusive relationships). Internal stressors can also be physical (infections, inflammation) or psychological. An example of an internal psychological stressor is intense worry about a harmful event that may or may not occur.