What is Stress?
Stress arises when we perceive a high level of threat, challenge or risk without sufficient resources or support. Stress a generalized term our body’s threat response, physical effects include activation of the adrenal system, closing of capillaries at our extremities, shutting down of bodily systems for long-term health, and secretion of emotion neurohormones to make us more volatile (prone to fight, flee, freeze) and less calm.
Stress can Be Debilitating
- 35% of people globally & 55% of Americans are stressed (Gallup 2019) and this has increased 14% during the pandemic (Gallup)
- Stress cases US businesses $300 billion annually (Stress.org)
- When stress rises, we become more volatile and are likely to overreact by being too defensive, too hostile, or self-destructive.
What is Stress Management and how does EQ help?
Stress management means learning about the triggers of distress and establishing healthy ways to counter those triggers. Many stress factors (see below) are emotional, and so developing more emotional intelligence is a key aspect of stress management.
Key Contributors to Stress
- Dysfunctional workplaces
- Uncertain future including climate change
- Lack of sleep & exercise
- Loneliness / social isolation & disconnection from nature
- Lack of meaning & purpose