Stress Management

The word stress has been used so often in the past two decades that it almost sounds redundant. The formal definition of stress, is a situation whereby the person perceives the demands of a situation to be larger than the resources that a person has. In simple words, stress is the feeling that one may not be able to cope with the demands of the situation he/she is facing.

Everyone experiences stress. Whether it is work related, child-care related, financial or relationship related, or other, you cannot avoid it. Stress can emerge from either negative or positive experiences. For example, getting fired can be stressful, but so can getting married. Stress comes from 3 basic sources: your body, your mind and the environment. Your body may be a source of stress when it is going through changes, such as adolescence, pregnancy, menopause, as a result of an accident, illness, lack of exercise or poor nutrition.

The environment can be a source of stress when it requires you to adjust to things like noise, air pollution, extreme weather conditions, time pressure, etc. Finally, your thoughts may be a source of pressure, when you constantly try to make sense of your world and interpret it, in order to know how to react to it. Your mind continuously appraises the different situations you are in.

This is a survival mechanism, which allows you to know when it is required to engage in a fight or flight response, i.e. to flee a situation or to fight an enemy in order to survive. Some people tend to appraise situations as stressful or dangerous even when most people would not. These people are prone to a stress response, i.e. feeling panicky, overwhelmed or altogether unwell.

It is important not to dismiss stress just because many of us experience it. Stress, especially when ongoing, has been found to be related to a variety of health problems, such as: hypertension, heart conditions, anxiety, reproductive problems, diabetes, and asthma, to name a few. Scientists now believe that stress may also accelerate the aging process. Moreover, feeling stressed out takes away from a sense of well-being.

For more information, contact Dr Regev at her Vancouver office Tel: 604-671-7356 Email:

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Further Readings

  • Davidson, J. P., & Davidson, J. (1999). The complete idiot’s guide to managing stress. Penguin Putnam.
  • Oliver, J., Benjamin, J., Powell, T., & Kitson, M. (2000). 101 stress busting strategies: Real life for success. World View Publications.
  • Scala, J. (2000). 25 natural ways to manage stress and avoid burnout: A mind-body approach to well-being.