What is Stress?

What is Stress?


There has been no definition of stress that everyone accepts. Therefore, it’s difficult to measure stress if there is no agreement on what the definition of stress should be.

People have very different ideas with respect to their definition of stress. Probably the most common is, “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension”. Another popular definition of stress is, “a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.”

2014 Stress Statistics

Source: American Psychological Association, American Institute of Stress, NY
Research Date: 7.8.2014

Top Causes of Stress in the U.S.

Cause Factors

  1. Job Pressure Co-Worker Tension, Bosses, Work Overload
  2. Money Loss of Job, Reduced Retirement, Medical Expenses
  3. Health Health Crisis, Terminal or Chronic Illness
  4. Relationships Divorce, Death of Spouse, Arguments with Friends, Loneliness
  5. Poor Nutrition Inadequate Nutrition, Caffeine, Processed Foods, Refined Sugars
  6. Media Overload Television, Radio, Internet, E-Mail, Social Networking
  7. Sleep Deprivation Inability to release adrenaline and other stress hormones

U.S Stress Statistics Data

  • Percent of people who regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress 77 %
  • Regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress 73 %
  • Feel they are living with extreme stress 33 %
  • Feel their stress has increased over the past five years 48 %
  • Cited money and work as the leading cause of their stress 76 %
  • Reported lying awake at night due to stress 48 %

Stress Impact Statistics

  • Percent who say stress has a negative impact on their personal and professional life 48 %
  • Employed adults who say they have difficulty managing work and family responsibilities. 31 %
  • Percent who cited jobs interfering with their family or personal time as a significant source of stress. 35 %
  • Percent who said stress has caused them to fight with people close to them 54 %
  • Reported being alienated from a friend or family member because of stress 26 %
  • Annual costs to employers in stress related health care and missed work. $300 Billion
  • Percent who say they are “always” or “often” under stress at work 30 %

People who cited physical symptoms experienced the following

  • Fatigue 51 %
  • Headache 44 %
  • Upset stomach 34 %
  • Muscle tension 30 %
  • Change in appetite 23 %
  • Teeth grinding 17 %
  • Change in sex drive 15 %
  • Feeling dizzy 13 %

People who cited psychological symptoms experienced the following

  • Irritability or anger 50 %
  • Feeling nervous 45 %
  • Lack of energy 45 %
  • Feeling as though you could cry 35 %

A massage once a week or two can go a long way in releasing this stress.