Gary's Guidance: Taking a Look at Stress

August 2013

Perhaps you come into contact with someone you hear saying:  “I am so stressed out.”  People talk about being stressed, but what actually is it?  Let’s take a look at 8 noteworthy aspects of stress:

1. Stress is an outcome (condition) involving a person’s reaction to physical, chemical, emotional, and environmental factors.  Adrenaline and Cortisol that are released within our bodies play a prominent role in being stressed.

2. Stress is influenced by a person’s thinking, feeling, and doing.  Or stated another way: a person has an interpretation of events, emotional response to events, and behavioral reaction to events.

3. Stress is known as a “fight or flight” response.

4. Stress is simply a natural part of everyday living.

5. Stress can be hard to define because it means different things to people, and people deal with stress differently.

6. Stress can be fun (not all stress is bad) like playing a competitive game or watching a sports game with a close score with time running out!

7. Stress can contribute to minor illnesses such as backaches, muscle tension, impaired cognitive performance, headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, and gastro-intestinal problems…to name a few.

8. Stress can contribute to serious problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, heart disease, anxiety attacks, reproductive malfunctions, reduction of serotonin (feel good chemical), blood sugar imbalances, suppressed thyroid function, decreased bone density, and inflammatory responses in the body.

In the next edition of Gary’s Guidance, Planned Spontaneity: an Oxymoron for Stress Management will feature simple stuff that you can do for reducing stress and improving your daily coping skills.

Gary Kozick, LCSW

(215) 510-8901