Reference to the term stress can be found as early as the early 14th century.

Stress can be found everywhere. However, the usage of the term “stress” has undergone considerable changes over time. Stress is an adaptive response to an external situation that results in physical, psychological and/or behavioral deviation for organizational participants. The term stress refers to both the demands placed on the person to adjust and the person’s biological and psychological response to these demands. In short stress involves two things that are external situation and how a person reacts to it. Hence it is an individual’s response.

When you feel threatened your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action.

Stress can be positive and negative.

  • Positive stress is when you perceive a stressful situation as on opportunities that will lead to a good outcome. “Eustress” is a term used to describe positive stress.

For examples: planning a wedding, buying your first house, graduating from college, landing your dream job etc.

  • Negative stress is usually the outcome of a poor attitude towards a stressor (being reactive). Negative stress is when it is associated with heart disease, alcoholism, drug abuse, marital breakout, child abuse and a host of other social physical, organization and emotional problems.

For examples: hard to sleep, eating too much, weight issues etc.

  • Highlights of stress:

Not all stress are bad. It can trigger your fight or flight mechanisms to help you to respond to an emergency.

It affects everyone differently. Too much of stress can cause serious health issues. Stress is a part of life and needs to be managed in order to be healthy and happy.

Stress is your body’s response to certain situation. It is subjective so something that is stressful for you may not be stressful for someone else. There are different kinds of stress and not all of them are negative in nature. Stress can help you act quickly in an emergency or help you meet a dead line.

Stress can affect your physical and mental health and your behavior. Your body responds to stress by producing chemicals and hormones to help you raise to your challenge.

Your heart rate increases, your brain works faster and you have sudden burst of energy. This response is basic and natural but too much of stress can have harmful effects.

It is impossible to completely eliminate negative stress from your life but you can learn to avoid and manage it.

  • Stress experience:

Not all individuals experience the stress with same intensity. Some people overt to stress and get highly stressed. Some others have the stamina endurance to deal with situation.

Individual experiences stress depends on :

  • Person perception of situation
  • Past experience
  • Individual differences
  • Presence or absence of social support


Lazarus and Folkman define stress as a particular relationship between the person and environment that is appraised by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resources and endangering his or her well being.. (the key points in the definition are appraisal and the transaction)


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