Does stress affect your health? If yes, to what magnitude?
Yes, stress can effect every system in the body so it can cause or
exacerbate things like high blood pressure, fatigue, muscle pain,
anxiousness, changes in appetite/food intake, headaches, sleep disruption,
digestive problem, irritability, etc.
Do a majority of people take their stress out on others?
Unfortunately many people are not very skilled at responding to
their stress in healthy ways and do sometimes take it out on others. It is
possible to learn not to do this.
Is there a correlation between stress and depression?
There can be many causes of depression. Stress affects our moods so
it can certainly be a factor.
What are the different methods for coping/managing stress?
There are healthy and unhealthy ways to cope with/manage stress.
Some of the healthy ways are to first of all be aware that one is stressed
and what the stressors in one's life are. From that awareness can then come
some skillful choices about how to care for oneself in the face of the
Sometimes accepting the fact that the nature of life is that we
will experience stress and that's not always because we're doing something
wrong is helpful. Many things are not within our power to control. But, we
can control how we respond to the stress when it arises and make wise
choices so that we don't contribute unnecessarily to creating stress for
ourselves and/or others. Some ways to respond might be to take a breath and
gently acknowledge to ourselves how we are feeling and what we are thinking
without judging those thoughts or feelings as good or bad--they are just
thoughts and feelings. Recognizing that every human being has feelings of
sadness, anger, confusion, fear, anxiousness, etc., and that these are not
"bad" and we don't have to push them away. They are normal and our challenge
is to respond to them in ways that don't create more suffering for ourselves
or others. Sometimes just staying with this is enough. If we decide that it
might be helpful to "do" something, we might talk to a friend or family
member, go for a walk or do some other kind of exercise, listen to music
that helps us to get centered, meditate, do yoga, pet the cat or dog, or
do something that usually helps us to be able to quiet ourselves and get clear
on what is the best way to proceed.
What is the most popular method for managing stress?
Unfortunately there are popular ways that aren't very healthy like drinking,
drugs, over-eating, over-working, over-exercising, excessive shopping, etc.
that are very popular but damaging. There are a variety of healthy options,
and different people are drawn to different things. For some, a form of
exercise in moderation is helpful, for others, something quiet and calming
is most helpful. Talking to someone we trust and respect is also a popular
and healthy way to manage stress. Looking at how we spend our time, who we
spend it with, how we live our lives and making sure we feel we are making
wise choices in all of these can also be useful in managing and preventing
some of the stress.
Is it possible to be stressed out and not be completely aware of it?
Yes, and many people are because they are chronically stressed so they think
how they feel is normal. It's important to know what your own signs of
stress are. That is usually easiest by paying attention to the body--it is
a great barometer for what is going on with you. For example, is your jaw
clenched, stomach knotted, breath held, shoulders tight? These are often
signs of stress. Behaviors like eating when we aren't hungry, not sleeping
well, being unusually irritable with people or overly critical of ourselves
also can be signs of stress.
Do all ages of people experience stress?
Is there a specific age group that gets more stressed then others?
I think every age group has it's own set of stresses.
What are the top three things that cause stress for people?
I think it's different for different people depending on their circumstances but often the general categories would be relationships (communication, judgments/fearing judgments, conflicts); performance (work/school); material things (money, housing, food, stuff).