When life pressures, situations and events become too much and exceeds our ability to cope, we become 'stressed'. Stress can negatively affect how we think, feel and behave making it harder for us to resolve the issues we have.
You may have heard of 'fight, flight or freeze' - this is a very primitive and natural process our mind and body goes through to help us deal with a situation that is threatening.
For example, early man being faced with a sabre tooth tiger would have found enormous strength to attempt to escape or fight off the deadly animal, thus 'fight or flight' was invaluable for physical survival. 'Freeze' was also an invaluable strategy as our animal instinct may have encouraged us to be still until danger passed.
In today's society we experience the same response, however we are usually dealing with deadlines, rushing from one place to another, difficulties at home or work and our bodies can be flooded with stress hormones that can become overwhelming and cause problems physically and emotionally.
Stress is not an illness, however there is no doubt that if someone is 'stressed' for a prolonged period of time, more serious mental health issues can appear such as anxiety and depression.
The stress reaction made simple: