Stress is the feeling you get when you try to balance the ever-growing demands of work with the never-ending needs of family. Stress is preparing for the holidays, a visit from the in-laws or a trip to the dentist for a root canal. Stress is balancing the checkbook when the house needs repairs and the kids need new clothes while you work two jobs. Stress is stewing in traffic at 8:50 a.m. when you must meet your new boss at 9 a.m. Stress, in short, is everywhere you turn.
Stress occurs when you perceive outside demands as being greater than your emotional resources. When you are stressed, you have both physical and mental reactions that can last minutes or years. The source of stress may be in the past or the present or you may anticipate that they’ll occur in the future. They may be situations everyone considers stressful, such as losing a job or a loved one, or they may be situations that you consider stressful but your neighbor would look forward to, such as acting in a play or flying in a plane.
So what can you do? You can learn how to handle your reactions to the stresses in your life.