Stress is simply a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium. In other words, it's an omnipresent part of life. A stressful event can trigger the “fight-or-flight” response, causing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to surge through the body. A little bit of stress, known as “acute stress,” can be exciting—it keeps us active and alert. But long-term, or “chronic stress,” can have detrimental effects on health. You may not be able to control the stressors in your world, but you can alter your reaction to them.

Recent Posts on Stress

5 Ways to Rid Yourself of Junk Emotions

If we thought about our emotions as products we consume, just as we do food, how would this change our life and our health?

Six Aromatherapy Essential Oils for Stress Relief and Sleep

What essential oils are best for R&R? Find out the top 6 relaxing essential oils for aromatherpy.

Stress and Your Heart

Much more than a pump, our heart has a brain with left and right hemispheric nodes that conduct the cellular symphony that is the very essence of our being.

Depressed Psychologists

A noble profession with few rewards

The Little-Known Downsides of Mindfulness Practice

Recent research uncovers some potentially serious pitfalls.

This Is Your Brain On Poverty

By Darby Saxbe Ph.D. on April 26, 2016 Home Base
How does poverty affect the development of the adolescent brain?

Why Forcing a Smile at Work is Bad for Your Health

5 tips to help you avoid the stress and exhaustion of "faking it."

It's Autism Awareness Month

Autism is even more complex than most people realize. Here's what more than 20 members of the autism community wish were better understood about autism.

The Benefits and Dangers of Highly Empathic Parenting

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on April 26, 2016 Feeling It
Children of Empathic Parents Thrive. Parents Don't. Here's What You Can Do.

Do Panic Attacks Really Come Out of the Blue?

It is often claimed that panic attacks are not triggered by specific environmental or interpersonal stressors because they seemingly happen at any time. This is misleading.

When You’re Chronically Ill: “Giving Up” Versus “Giving In”

Giving up can make you feel like a failure, as if you’re mentally weak and undisciplined By contrast, giving in is a type of surrender. I think of it as sweet surrender.

Therapeutic Euphemism: Niceness Isn't Always Kind

By Lawrence D. Blum M.D. on April 24, 2016 Beyond Freud
The use of euphemistic language in psychotherapy, by either the patient or the therapist, can be a therapeutic obstacle, but understanding this usage provides opportunity.

Anxiety, Fears, and Things That Go Bump in the Night

Learn to breathe deeply to calm yourself down.

Stress and Latino Mental Health

The APA Stress in America survey finds that Latinos report the highest stress levels related to sources such as money, employment, family responsibilities and health concerns.

Why We Hate Not Knowing for Sure

By David DiSalvo on April 24, 2016 Neuronarrative
We evolved to respond to uncertainty for good reasons, and that response is still strong with us even if the reasons have changed. Uncertainty is stressful like nothing else.

Underwater Twice, Positive Psychologist Feels Like a Fraud

I'm a victim of Houston’s second flood in six months, and my psyche is struggling.

The Changing Faces of Trauma

By Arieh Y. Shalev on April 21, 2016 Unraveling Trauma
To develop a serious discussion about trauma and post-traumatic psychopathology we need to overcome our addiction to diagnostic criteria, else we will continue to err.

Do You Want to Change Your Relationship to Alcohol?

A compassionate look at why we drink, how to know when it becomes a problem, and the many ways you can make change.

After the Death of Dr. Rose Polge - Who Cares for Doctors?

The suicide rate in female doctors was higher than in the general population, but the rate in male doctors was lower.

In an Emotional Funk? Time to Create a First-Aid Plan

We all have times when our emotions derail us. The key to navigating these emotions is having an effective plan.

7 Stress Relief Strategies You Can Do in 10 Minutes or Less

It's Stress Awareness Month - these seven stress-relief strategies can be used when you're short on time.

Why Are We Always Looking for Certainty in Our Lives?

By Allison Carmen on April 20, 2016 The Gift of Maybe
We look for certainty to guarantee that everything will be okay, but we're often limiting our opportunities for joy and success. Maybe there is another way!

Good Grief

Although grief can be painful physically and emotionally, it can also be beneficial. As we live with loss, we can grow through grief.

Visual Journaling as a Reflective Practice

The practice of visual journaling can be a powerful container for life’s more difficult experiences and transitions, self-care and meaning-making. Start your journaling here.

An Incredible Alternative to Mindfulness You Never Heard Of

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on April 19, 2016 Feeling It
Does meditation make you anxious or mad? The good news is that you don’t have to do mindfulness meditation. There are other ways to reach inner peace—backed by science.

Talking Out Military Sexual Trauma

By Eric Newhouse on April 18, 2016 Invisible Wounds
Jennifer Sluga told the VA's "poet-in-residence," Thor Ringler, about her sexual abuse so her VA caregivers would understand her concerns, but it became a liberating experience.

5 Ways to Stop Your Racing Thoughts

Racing thoughts can create a frightening loop in your brain that feels difficult to escape. Try these 5 steps to help you regain control and calm.

After a Terrorist Attack

Terrorism is a variation of psychological and actual war. It is plugged into our emotionally related memory, located mainly in the hippocampus.

Belief and Nature’s Resilience

Spring cleaning can signal a time of personal renewal.

5 Ways Your Worst Experiences Can Bring Out the Best in You

Research shows how really good things can stem from really bad experiences.