What is stress?
Stress is a demand or pressure placed on someone, making them feel tense, anxious, fearful, depressed or uncomfortable.
The Australian Heart Foundation has identified factors that are commonly regarded as components of ‘stress'. These include:
- depression, anxiety, panic disorder
- social isolation and lack of quality social support
- life events such as bereavement, earthquakes and terrorist attacks
- work-related ‘stressors'
- anger and hostility.
Understanding stress is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. Stress management and relaxation are vital in ensuring good mental health, and in adjusting to the pressures and strains of everyday life.
Heart disease is stressfulGoing to hospital, facing surgery and dealing with the changes in your daily life and family routine – it can be traumatic. For some people, the diagnosis of a heart condition or living with ongoing health problems may be a continual strain. Managing stress is one element in coping with chronic disease.
A certain amount of stress can be a good thing. It can help you focus and achieve what you want to do. It brings anticipation and excitement into your life - with a holiday or family celebration. It helps you to grow and change, to avoid danger, and to strive for a goal.
Stress can also be negative. Situations that many of us find difficult or upsetting include:
- conflict with others
- meeting deadlines
- writing exams
- caring for dependants
- moving house
- relationship problems
- health problems.