An Introduction To Stress: What Is It?

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Lesson 2: Stress: What is it?

Slide 1: VIDEO: What is Stress?

What is Stress?

The anxiety of not knowing, like, am I gonna get it all done?

Excessive worrying about things that I, I can't control.

Stress is just really juggling things, for me.

Stress is that overwhelming feeling that you get when…

You don't have time…

To sleep.

Just that anxiety that um, sense of disorder.

To me, stress is when you get to the point where you kind of feel like you want to go shut yourself in your room and cry.

I guess, like, being overwhelmed.

Whatever is kind of keeping you from being happy.

Slide 2: Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to: • Define stress • Describe the stress process • Refute common myths about stress • Identify role-­‐related stressors • Explain the increase in stress complaints • Illustrate the role perception plays in the experience of stress

Slide 3: Definition of Stress

When you ask people the question, “What is stress?” you’re bound to hear a wide variety of responses. Some people will name a stressful event, like getting married, starting a new job, or going on a first date. Others will identify an aspect of their lives as stressful, like going to college, living in the city, driving to work, or living in the dorms. Some individuals will even name other people such as a roommate, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a professor, or their parents or family members. Other times, people will describe how stress feels. They’ll say things like, “Stress is when my heart races and I sweat.” Or, “Stress is when I can’t think straight.” “Stress is when I get frustrated and angry.”

When you begin to look for more comprehensive definitions, you realize that stress is so much more than these events, situations, people or how stress feels. It’s also much more than our response to


Lesson 2: Stress: What is it?

these things. Stress is actually a multi-­‐faceted phenomenon. In fact, as we’ll soon explain, stress is really a process.

Slide 4: Handling Stress

We can’t always control what happens in life, but we can control how we respond. Different people respond differently to some of the same events. For example, all college students have to write papers and take exams. Approaching midterms and finals can be an extremely stressful period of time, but some students manage that stress better than others. How you manage your stress depends on a variety of things, including the stressors you encounter, your perceptions, and the resources you have to deal