Stress is our body’s response to physical, mental or emotional pressure. There are many reasons why a person can become stressed, it is often triggered when we experience a situation that we feel we cannot control or have little control over but sometimes there’s no obvious cause.
When a person encounters stress, your body produces stress hormones that triggers a response, sometimes, this stress response can be useful as it helps you navigate through challenging situations, very much like the ‘fight or flight’ response. Too much stress however can have a negative effect leaving you feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Everyone deals with situations differently. A situation that doesn’t necessarily affect you may cause someone else a lot of stress; your response can also depend on many other factors including:
- Perception – your perception of a situation, this can be connected to past experiences, confidence/self-esteem, anxiety or mental health issues
- Experience – how experienced you are at dealing with pressure
- Your emotional resilience to stressful situations
- Daily life factors – such as the amount of other pressures on you at that particular time and how much support you are receiving.
Stress can cause mental health problems, and make existing problems worse. For example, if you often struggle to manage feelings of stress, you might develop a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression.