What is stress and how do I manage It?


What is stress?

Stress is the psychological, physiological and behavioral response by an individual when they perceive a lack of equilibrium between demands placed upon them and their ability to meet those demands, which, over a period of time, leads to ill-health

Symptoms of stress

Difficulty sleeping

Weight gain or weight loss

Stomach pain


Teeth grinding

Panic attacks


Difficulty concentrating

Sweaty hands or feet


Excessive sleeping

Social isolation



Feeling overwhelmed

Obsessive or compulsive behaviors

Facts about stress

Stress has been referred to as the “silent killer” as it can silently cause heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pain, and an irregular heart beat

Hair loss caused by stress can happen up to 3 months after a stressful event

Stress worsens acne

Stress can cause weight gain. Stress hormone cortisol has been found to cause both accumulation of abdominal fat and enlargement of fat cells, causing what is called “diseased” fat

Correlations have been found between stress and top 6 causes of death:cancer, lung ailments, heart disease, liver cirrhosis, accidents and suicide

Stress is responsible for altering our blood sugar levels, which can cause fatigue, hyperglycemia, and mood swings

Tips for managing stress

Understand your stress

How do you stress? By understanding what stress looks like for you, you can be better prepared and reach for your stress management toolbox if needed

Identify your stress sources

What causes you to be stressed? Such as work, family. Change, etc

Learn to recognize stress signals such as low tolerance, headaches, stomach aches, or combo from list of symptoms of stress previously listed

Recognize your stress strategies

What is your go-to tactic for calming down? Whether it be healthy such as exercising or writing in a journal or listening to music, or unhealthy such as overeating or drinking alcohol

Implement healthy stress management strategies

Meditation, phone a friend to chat through your situation, listening to music, writing in a journal, watching something funny as laughter lowers stress hormones

Make self care a priority

Make time for you such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy, relaxing, and exercise

Ask for support when needed such as reaching out to a friend or family member you feel comfortable talking to