What is Stress?
Stress is the uncomfortable feelings you get when you’re worried, scared, angry, frustrated, or overwhelmed. It is caused by feelings, but it affects your mood and body. Stress comes from many different places:
- From your parents: “Hurry up, do your homework, do your best, go out for the team.”
- From your friends: “Be cool, try this, show us you aren’t a loser.”
- From yourself: “I need to lose weight, get better grades, show my parents I’m not a baby.”
- From military life: “We have to move again, your parent is being deployed.”
You can’t avoid all stress, but you can learn ways to cope. A personalized stress management plan can help you get some relief.
Create a Plan
Different parts of our bodies can give us signs when we feel stressed. There are many ways that stress can impact your body and not feel like your usual self. There are a lot of ways that stress can affect your body and cause you to not feel like your usual self. You can have a physical reaction, such as a stomachache or a headache, or you may even have trouble sleeping or concentrating. You could have an emotional reaction such as feeling upset or angry. It’s tough to say how your body will react to stress.
Many things can cause stress in your life. What you should know, is that everyone experiences stress. However, not everyone experiences it the same way or for the same reasons. One persons fun-filled afternoon can be another persons stress-filled nightmare. What is important is that you find some healthy ways to manage your stress when you do experience it. Because, like math tests, avoiding stress isn't always an option.
Breathe2Relax is a relaxation app (link in the "See More" resources on this page) that teaches you the “belly breathing” skill called diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing exercises can help decrease the body’s fight-or-flight (stress) response. Breathing deeply with the diaphragm delivers a rich supply of oxygen to your blood, building up an energy reserve that signals your body to relax. Controlled breathing also helps you reach a calmer state after a surge in adrenaline and stress hormones activate your fight-or-flight response.