What is Stress?

violin strings snappingStress is the body’s response to any demand placed upon it. Stress is a natural response and has benefits, but too much stress can have negative impacts on your mental and physical health.

You can think about it like a properly tuned violin – you need enough tension in your violin strings to make music, but not so much that the strings snap.



Signs of Excessive Stress

You may notice some of the following symptoms or signs of excessive stress:

feeling anxious, irritable, forgetful, impulsive, overwhelmed, exhausted

headaches, increased heart rate, perspiration, upset stomach, muscle tension

changes in sleeping or eating patterns, arguing, withdrawal from friends, binge gaming/television

Causes of Stress

Many things in life can cause stress. For instance, stressors can be:

roommate conflicts, family demands, work responsibilities

Life Events
death of a loved one, moving, break-ups, divorce of parents

bills, unplanned expenses, tuition

thoughts, beliefs, worries, changes in mood

illness, injury, sleep disturbances, poor nutrition, environmental factors/conditions

Lifestyle Choices
lack of sleep, lack of exercise, poor time management, use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs

rules, educational requirements, role expectations

You've learned what stress is and what causes it. Next, explore how your reactions to events in life affect stress levels.