"Define Stress"
What is Stress?
Can It Be Reduced?

Do we define stress as what “happens to us”, or ...
as an internal response we can change?
By understanding what is stress we can find effective stress relief.
A simple definition of stress...

Stress is Our Inner Response to Circumstances
Which Challenge Us to Adapt to Change

These circumstances may seem positive, or negative, but they all indicate the need to adapt to change.

It is helpful to recognize that stress is not the set of external events or conditions about which we may feel happy or upset.

For example, stress is not:

a new marriage

a new baby

a ringing alarm clock

or lost money

But our response to these circumstances may be very stressful.

Can We Really Reduce Stress?

YES... a lot of stress can be avoided. We can learn to modify our choices, responses and behaviors.

Change is usually experienced as a main cause of stress
Stress is a natural part of life because changes and challenges in life are inevitable. They happen to everyone. However, our choices and attitudes can make a big difference.

The biggest causes of stress can be less
Obviously, some of life’s challenges are bigger than others. They require more adaptation energy from us. But understanding and tools can help.

Although “experts” define stress in many different ways, what is most important to realize is you can feel better!

Stress Relief Solutions Do Exist

We often can not control the external changes and circumstances life brings.

But we can reduce stress by learning to modify our inner response to life’s challenges.

Fortunately, effective stress relief techniques can help us learn to modify our inner response to life’s challenges and adapt to them more easily.

Our basic healthy lifestyle choices can help us to prevent stress by becoming stronger and more resilient with life’s challenging circumstances.

For example sleep and stress relief are very connected. If we do not have sufficient time to sleep relax and recover, the stress response may become chronic. Chronic stress is not good for our mental or physical health, it is also is not necessary.

Emotional stress reducers are wonderful tools to help us respond to life’s challenges with greater acceptance and peace. This significantly reduces self imposed, self generated emotional stress.

There are also effective natural and herbal approaches to stress relief that we can use to reduce our experience of stress.

Understanding Key Insights About
Stress Theory...

Highlights of Hans Selye's Research
Hans Selye is considered one of the pioneers of modern stress theory. His work focused mainly on the physiological response of the body to physical challenges.

Walter Cannon - Fight or Flight & Importance of Homeostasis
Walter Cannon's pioneering work also made important contributions to how we understand and define stress and the inter relationship of stress, mind and body.

Remember  How We Define Stress Has a Big Impact on How Stress Affects Us

The "stress response" is a natural healthy survival mechanism. In the right circumstances it helps us. But getting caught in chronic stress reduces our quality of life.

Explore an overview of more practical solutions to chronic stress, by
returning to Gentle Stress Relief Home Page .


Selye, Hans. “The Nature of Stress.” http://www.icnr.com/articles/thenatureofstress.html

stress. (2008). Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2007 Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Cambridge University Press. 2008. ”Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary”. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=78783&dict=CALD

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