Chapter Seven

Stress

Responding to Pressure

The pressures of our occupations, the threat of war, the volatility of the economic market, the downsizing of organizations, and the uncertainties of life in general all contribute to feeling overwhelmed and besieged. Hans Selye, the noted stress researcher, first described the way we react to stress in scientific terms over sixty years ago. We experience stress in response to a noxious agent with alarm (fight or flight) followed by resistance. Stress can come from lack of self-realization (physical immobility, boredom, sensory deprivation) or from instances where we have exceeded our limits and become overloaded or exhausted. Stress can also come from a positive challenge and pleasure in what we are ...

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