What Is Stress?

Stress causes physical changes in the body designed to help you take on threats or difficulties.

You may notice that your heart pounds, your breathing quickens, your muscles tense and you start to sweat.

This is sometimes known as the ‘fight or flight’ response.

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Once the threat or difficulty passes, these physical effects usually fade. But if you’re constantly stressed, your body stays in a state of high alert and you may develop stress-related symptoms.

Symptoms of stress

Stress can affect how you feel emotionally, mentally and physically, and also how you behave.

How you may feel emotionally

How you may feel mentally

  • racing thoughts
  • constant worrying
  • difficulty concentrating
  • difficulty making decisions

How you may feel physically

How you may behave

  • drinking or smoking more
  • snapping at people
  • avoiding things or people you are having problems with