Stress. Many of us are faced with it every day, but we might not know how to deal with it. It is important to learn how to handle stress because it can affect our performance and relationships in our work and home. At work, stress can lead to distraction and cause an unfortunate accident. At home, stress can put a strain on family relationships.

Stress usually occurs when there are changes in our lives and we feel that we don’t have enough resources to deal with those changes and demands. Stress can occur not only from negative life experiences but also from positive ones. People react and deal with stress differently, but common stress symptoms include upset stomach, fatigue, tight neck muscles, irritability, and headaches. Some people react to stress by eating or drinking too much, losing sleep, or smoking cigarettes. Stress may also make you more susceptible to illnesses, including the common cold, ulcers, and some cancers.

The first step to managing stress is to identify your “stressors”; those things that are making you react. Stressors may not only be events that cause you to feel sad, frightened, anxious, or happy. You can cause stress through your thoughts, feelings, and expectations. Look at the list below.

Which causes you stress? Can you think of other stressors?

  • Not enough time
  • Unexpected change
  • Family problems
  • Extra responsibility
  • Personality clashes

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