The Definition of Stress and What it Means to you

The definition of stress as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is, "a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation." What does all of that mean? It means that stress is real, and when we're stressed, we definitely feel it.

Okay, so you knew that already, right?

You know it's real because you can feel the physical signs of stress inside and out. One of the first steps in learning more about your stress is becoming more aware of your signs and symptoms of stress.

It’s also important to understand there’s a lot going on inside of your body that you may not feel. When you are stressed (regardless of the reason) your body begins to release chemicals that prepare you for what is commonly described as the “fight or flight” response. While being in this heightened state can be beneficial at times, it can also be quite damaging if you continue to experience high levels of stress over a period of time. It’s tough on your mind and your body.

By learning more about stress and what stress is, you can begin to fight it.

You can use this page as a starting point to learn more about stress… and specifically, your stress. So be sure to visit each of the links on this page to begin to understand your stress so that you can start to manage it.

definition of stress


Where does stress come from?

Stress can come from many different events in our lives and even good events can sometimes cause us stress and anxiety.

There are two main types of stress. The stress I mainly talk about on this site is the bad kind or "dis-stress". The kind that keeps you awake at night, gives you a stomach ache, and is taking away the enjoyment of life.

These are the reasons why it is very important to get a handle on the stress you are experiencing, especially if you are living with chronic stress.

Look again at the last phrase in Merriam-Webster's definition of stress, "may be a factor in disease causation." That means that stress is harmful to your physical health, not just your mental health. I am living proof of that. Several years ago I ended up with chronic gastritis. It was painful and made me very sick. Since then, I've been on a personal crusade to find better ways to deal with my stress and learn how to prevent it.

This website was created so that I could share all of this with you and help you live a less stressful and more enjoyable life.


Discover your definition of stress.

You know when you're stressed because you feel it. But what are your causes of stress? For most of us that's a fairly easy answer.

We're experiencing stress at work or at school. We're stressed because we have a family to take care of, or we're having relationship problems.

Maybe you have a big event coming up such as a wedding or maybe you never have enough money to pay your bills and still afford to eat.

Whatever your reason, it's time to handle it instead of letting it handle you. Figure out your own personal definition of stress so that you can begin to take the appropriate steps to manage it.

Take some time to arm yourself with a little more information on stress.

If you don't already know, figure out what is causing you stress.

Take out a note pad or a journal and write down your physical and mental symptoms. Really get to know your stress. Then when you feel sufficiently armed, it's time to focus less on the definition of stress or what stress is, and focus on effective stress management.


So what's the next step?

Now that you understand stress just a little bit more, you can do one of two things...

1. You can skip what I call the "discovery stage" and jump right in to trying different stress relieving techniques. While I don't recommend this approach, I do understand that some people prefer to just cut to the chase. If that's you, check out the links on the menu bar on the left to learn about different ways to relieve your stress.

2. You can dive into this experience and enjoy the "discovery stage" and learn more about yourself and your stress to get to the bottom of what makes you feel the way you feel so that you can begin to understand which techniques will work for you at which times and for what type of stress. That's when you begin to really harness the power of effective stress management and prevention.


To go on the amazing journey of the Discovery Stage
, download a copy of my Stressful Lives Stress Management Workbook to get started right away.


Outside Resource: Suffering from Anxiety Attacks? Check out these Four Self-Treatment Ideas for Dealing with Anxiety Attacks


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You're on the 1st Stop on the Road Map to a Less Stressful Life. Click here to open the Road Map to find out where to head next!


Other Pages You'll Love:

Cure for Stress

Stress Statistics

How to Prevent Stress

Stressed out Life: Living with Chronic Stress



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