Want a Good Definition of Stress?
Here's a Twist on a Familiar Theme!

In the past while, I have read many a definition of stress.  Most of them have been scientific or theoretical. Sometimes the definitions are well-meaning, like a coach encouraging a client to get back on his or her feet, however none of the definitions, I have read so far, seem to challenge a person or hold people accountable for the choices they make.

The stress crisis is the same as the obesity epidemic; it's time to get a little bit, "in your face" about personal choices. The following intends to do just that. Please don't be too offended.

A Big Picture Definition of Stress

  • Stress is real. There is no point in pretending it doesn’t exist. It's a huge problem that requires all of our attention. It can no longer be ignored.
  • Stress is a problem in today’s world. Too many of us underestimate the destructive power of stress, in all its forms.
  • Stress is out of control. So many of us go through life acting as though we are invincible.
  • Stress is making us sick. Stress is now known to be the cause of more than 200 chronic degenerative diseases.
  • Stress is ruining our lives. We are held captive by stress in all its forms.
  • Stress is capable of ending your life. Stress causes premature death pure and simple.

A Behavioral Definition of Stress

  • Stress is a choice we make. We put ridiculous demands on our bodies and we force ourselves to follow crazy schedules.
  • Stress is within our power to control.
  • Stress is manageable. It’s so easy to learn how to manage and control stress.
  • Stress is good – Eustress is the name given to good stress and it is all about empowerment.
  • Stress is bad – Distress is the name given to bad stress and it is all about disempowerment.

An Uncontrolled Definition of Stress

  • Stress is a game we play.  We have been playing this game for so long that we have forgotten what the rules are and we don’t even know who to cheer for anymore.
  • Stress is a tool we use. We use it as an excuse, but it is robbing our quality of life.
  • Stress is a crutch we lean on. The crutch is beating us over the head.
  • Stress is a dance. We need to get off the dance floor.

Whatever stress is to each of us individually, the thing we must never forget is that stress just IS.  So you can spend a lot of time being stressed out over the fact that you’re stressed out or you can make a decision to do something about it. How do you define stress?

Learn more about the psychological interpretation of stress or learn more about the biological interpretation of stress.

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