Stress is often a part of life, something that many people have simply learned to tolerate.

What is stress?

Stress isn’t technically a disease, although it can have lasting effects on an individual’s mental health. Rather, it’s a response. ‘

Specifically, it’s one of the body’s natural physical, mental, and emotional reactions to an external stressor.

 Frequently the source of stress is rooted in change—a big move, a new project, a wedding, etc.

But it can also stem from a person’s surroundings, like an aggressive boss or a tense conversation.

When the body faces a perceived threat, stress levels rise and hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine are released to increase alertness, tense muscles, and heighten blood pressure. This is the evolutionary “fight or flight” response. But in most cases, the cause of stress isn’t a physical attacker, so it can result in headaches, extended muscle tension, lack of sleep, indigestion, and other symptoms.

In short bursts, stress can actually help someone increase productivity or maintain focus. But chronic stress can contribute to health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety disorders, and gastrointestinal disorders.

How common is stress?

In short, stress is extremely common. Rarely can anyone completely escape it. But in recent years, self-reported stress has skyrocketed.

Stress prevention.

 It’s not always possible to prevent stress, but there are some ways to stop it before it starts.

Many of these techniques stem from a mindset shift.

“Sometimes stress can be caused by negative self-talk, a pessimistic outlook, perfectionism or inability to accept change,” says Brian Wind,