What is stress?

Stress is your body's response to certain situations. Stress is a subjective; something that may be stressful for one person—speaking in public, for instance—may not be stressful for someone else. Not all stresses are "bad"; for example, graduating from college may be considered a "good" stress. Stress can affect your physical health, your mental health, and your behavior. In response to stressful stimuli, your body turns on its biological response: chemicals and hormones are released that are meant to help your body rise to the challenge. Your heart rate increases, your brain works faster and becomes razor sharp, you have a sudden burst of energy. This response is natural and basic; it's what kept our ancestors from falling victim to hungry predatorsStress overload, however, can have harmful effects. We cannot eliminate stress from our lives, but we can learn to avoid and manage it.