Define Stress: What Is Stress?

What is stress

Different authors define stress differently. 

My definition or answer to the question, "What is stress?" is that stress is the body’s physiological response to any stimuli that requires a change in its physical, mental or emotional functioning.

This simply means that stress is the way your body tries to cope with change.

Or, in other words, stress is the way your body responds to any person, thing or situation that demands that it change in any way.

Though most people define stress or view stress as an unpleasant entity, stressful persons, things or situations do not have to be negative for them to stress your body. For example positive persons, things and situations that can stress a person include a new baby, a new marriage and a new job. 

Hooke's Law of Stress
Stress can also be defined according to Hooke’s Law which states that stress (or an external force) produces a strain (or deformation) in a metal. The metal strains by stretching to accommodate the stress until it reaches its elastic limit when it breaks.   

Hooke’s Law can also be hooked to our bodies because external forces like work pressures produce strain on our bodies which can be physical, mental or emotional strain.

Our bodies then strain physically, mentally and emotionally to accommodate the stress until we reach our “elastic limit” and break down. 

This human “elastic limit” is the point at which we can no longer stretch our resources to adapt to the change positively and we “breakdown” and develop physical, mental and emotional stress related diseases.

Note that, before we reach our “elastic limits”, the stress causing the strain is considered good stress or eustress because it causes "constructive" strain that we can cope with and this helps us think more creatively and achieve more in less time.

However, after passing our “elastic limit”, stress is considered bad stress or distress because it causes excessive "destructive"strain on our physical, mental and emotional resources resulting in inability to perform constructively.

Therefore since different metals have different elastic limits, it is crucial for you to learn to listen to your body so that you can know when you are approaching your “elastic limit” so that you can reduce the stress straining you before you snap mentally or break down with stress related illnesses.

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