The Signs of Stress

  • Martin Shaffer


The signs of stress are many, and they can vary greatly in different persons. Some manifestations of stress, however, are more usual than others. By examining some of these more common ways in which stress shows its presence, we can better gauge the degree to which stress is present in our lives. As an example, consider the following situation: You are driving along the expressway when another car, without warning, cuts in front of you and then brakes suddenly. You react immediately as the threat of danger triggers an intense alarm reaction of the general adaptation syndrome (GAS): Your heart races, respiration quickens, and the pupils of your eyes dilate. You also cope automatically, swerving into an empty lane or slamming on your brakes. By now, you are also beginning to react emotionally as well, perhaps even to the extent of shouting or cursing at the offending driver. As the immediate danger passes, you begin to notice other things as well. Your muscles may be very tense, so tense that you experience a headache or backache. You might even feel sick to your stomach.


Stress Reaction Life Change Repetitive Thinking Psychological Sign Alarm Reaction 
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© Martin Shaffer 1982

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  • Martin Shaffer

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