THE WORD STRESS IS used to describe a wide variety of situations, from the seemingly small stress of being unable to reach someone on her cell phone to the feelings associated with having too much work and not enough time to the extreme stress of the death of a loved one. One of the more widely accepted definitions is by Richard S. Lazarus: “Stress is a condition experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.”1 In other words, the term is used to describe our response to an event based on how we perceive the event and not the event itself. We especially feel stressed when we feel that things are out of control.

Our perception of our ability ...

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