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've read so far, seem to challenge a person or hold people accountable for the choices they make.

In my opinion, the current stress crisis is much like the obesity epidemic and I feel that it may be time to get a little bit, "IN YOUR FACE" about the personal choices people make regarding the stress in their lives. The following ideas for defining stress intends to do just that, so, please don't be too offended if a definition of stress from my list below seems a bit aggressive.

A BigGER Picture Definition of Stress

  • Stress is real. There is no point in pretending it doesn’t exist. It's a huge problem that requires our attention. It mustn't be ignored.
  • Stress is a massive 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, but we soon pay the price.
  • Stress is making us sick. Stress is now known to be the cause of more than 200 chronic degenerative diseases.
  • Stress ruins lives. We're held captive by stress in all its forms. The lost opportunity cost of unchecked stress is astounding.
  • Stress, when it's bad, is capable of ending your life. Stress can and does cause 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 and respond to ridiculous demands on our day-to-day lives. Stress is well within our power to control.
  • Stress is fully manageable with education and experience. It’s very easy to learn how to manage and control stress.
  • Stress can be good, in fact, it should be good. Eustress is the name given to good stress and this type is all about empowerment.
  • Stress is usually bad, but it shouldn't be. Distress is the name given to bad stress and this type is all about disempowerment.

An imaginative 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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