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What is stress?
Stress can be defined as the reaction people have to pressures or demands.
Stress is person specific – what stresses one person may not stress another person in a similar situation.
Stress is time specific – what may stress one person at one point in time may not stress them at another time, sometimes because the stress has become cumulative. Stress is context specific – having similar experiences in different contexts, such as one where you have supportive relationships, can fundamentally change the experience of stress.
Some of the symptoms of stress can be:
- psychological – feelings such as anger, anxiety, shame, depression, guilt, jealousy, suspicion, mood swings
- behavioural – passive or aggressive behaviour, irritability, increased food or alcohol consumption, disturbed sleep
- physical – frequent colds or other infections, palpitations, breathlessness, chest pain, faintness, headaches, indigestion
You are advised to see a medical practitioner if you are concerned about experiencing any of these conditions. Some of these symptoms could be the result of different medical conditions. If they are indeed symptoms of stress, your practitioner can advise you on what treatments are available.