Stress

What is Stress?

Have you ever found yourself rushing to finish an essay before the deadline or putting off a task to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed? Stress is a normal part of life and is our body's physical and emotional reaction to pressure from an overwhelming situation.

 

When we feel stressed, our bodies become more aware of the environment around us and triggers an automatic fight-or-flight response to help deal with the threat.

While a little bit of stress can be helpful in motivating us to meet our goals, ongoing stress can affect multiple areas of our lives and become frustrating when we are not able to cope with these feelings effectively.

What Causes Stress?

Everyone responds to stress in different ways. Depending on each individual, one or more factors in our lives can cause us to feel stressed especially when we are unable to recognize or understand the reason behind it.

Some common stressors may include:

Work & School

Moving to a New Country

Managing Finances

Relationships

Illnesses

What Are The Signs of Stress?

Stress feels different for each person, and the signs can change depending on our reaction to specific situations. Recognizing your unique responses can help to identify what you need to cope effectively.

Body

 

  • Sweating

  • Headaches

  • Nausea

  • Body Aches

  • Digestive Issues

  • Increased Heart Rate

  • Exhaustion & Fatigue

  • Hair Loss

  • Changes to Skin Complexion

  • Changes to Appetite

 

  • Loss of Motivation

  • Worried, Overthinking

  • Feelings of Worthlessness

  • Trouble Concentrating, Making Decisions

Thoughts

Mood

 

  • Nervous

  • Angry

  • Sad

  • Frustrated

  • Guilty

Behaviours

 

  • Procrastination

  • Isolating From Others

  • Trouble Falling Asleep

  • Irrational Decisions

Understanding Your Stress

Recognizing what makes you feel stressed is the first step to finding out why you might feel unwell. Keep in mind that it may take some time to find the right coping methods that work for you. Be open to exploring different tools, as these strategies can change over time.

1. What are you stressed about?

Understanding what makes you feel stressed is not always easy. This can be a combination of different factors such as work, school, and family commitments altogether. You are the expert on your own body and mind. Being self-aware about what is causing you to feel overwhelmed can help you to take better care of yourself. 

2. What does it feel like when you're stressed?

Everyone experiences stress differently and knowing where your own limitations are, can help you to understand your own boundaries. ​

3. What can you do about it?

Sometimes, it's not so easy to simply de-stress. While we may have a variety of coping mechanisms that help us to deal with the stress temporarily, ask yourself what you can realistically do about the situation. 

  • Is there anything you can change about the environment?

  • Is there a different method or technique you could try?

  • Is the situation something that is within your control?

  • How can you look at the situation from a different angle?

Stress Infographics & Tip Sheets

Click one of the topics below to download and print our sheets or click here to view more of our infographics. 

Stress Tips For Students

5 Steps For Understanding Your Stress