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

Conversation with a Mother about Sleep Training her Baby

Dear Dr., I need help! I have a lovely 11 month old baby girl and my husband and I both work full-time… I resorted to sleep coaching recently… I am afraid that we have already done irreparable damage to our sweet baby.

Heartbreak

In virtue of our human finitude, heartbreak is built into our caring engagement in the world.

How to See Yourself More Clearly

Writing can help you see yourself more clearly

7 Ways Yoga Helps Children and Teens

Yoga helps teens by developing their strength, creativity, discipline, and awareness. Find out 7 ways yoga helps children and teens.

Four Quick Videos On Anticipatory Anxiety And Fear of Flying

A vicious cycle can hold you captive in a state of anticipatory anxiety. The thought of your plane crashing - or of having a panic attack - can trigger the release of stress hormones. Once released, these hormones keep your thinking locked on those thoughts, which, in turn, trigger even more stress hormones. How can you break out of this vicious cycle?

The Importance of Detaching From Work

Typically when we hear that someone is “detached”, or is actively seeking “detachment”, this is viewed negatively. There are, however, instances where a certain amount of detachment is a good thing; in fact, there is considerable evidence that regularly detaching from work is an important key to thriving under stressful conditions.

Perfectionism and Trichotillomania, Like Oil and Water

Striving for perfection but pulling your hair

The Melancholy of Anatomy: Excessive Weight and Depression

Does a depressive disorder lead to weight gain or does weight gain lead to a depressive disorder? Studies in the past few years seem to indicate a “bidirectional relationship” between excessive weight and depression, with major public health implications.

Understanding Nomophobia: Just Something Else to Worry About

My appreciation of the connection and conveniences offered by my smartphone might qualify as a pathology. That’s right folks, according to a recent study, I may have a disorder called nomophobia, which means that I get anxious, fearful and stressed out if and when I’m unable to access or use my smartphone.

VA Emails Discuss How to Handle "Problem" Vet

By Eric Newhouse on May 20, 2015 in Invisible Wounds
Ever wonder what the VA is saying behind your back? Charles Gatlin did. So he and his wife requested—and received—hundreds of pages of emails that testify to a growing rift between a vet and the agency designated to serve him.

Why Your Boss Should Be Concerned With Your Mental Health

Nearly one in five employees experienced a mental illness last year, costing companies billions of dollars. Despite the consequences, most organizations never address mental health.

A Few Surprising Predictors of Exercise Enjoyment

While further research is always needed from multiple labs and with multiple and diverse populations, our most recent research suggests that your beliefs about your own fitness and working harder might actually help you to enjoy your exercise more. And if you enjoy it, you’ll do it. And if you do it, your body, mind and soul will be better off as well.

Can't Sit Still? You Are Not Alone

A friend laughed with relief when I told her how noisy my mind is when I step outside intending to sit and listen to birdsong. She thought she was the only one who could barely quiet her mind enough to sit still. I find that the fresh air, earth aromas, and the bird chorus are there for a moment or two and then all that I am trying to savor drops away.

Vet Wins Partial Victory on TBI Rating Challenge

By Eric Newhouse on May 19, 2015 in Invisible Wounds
A VA appeals panel has ordered a full neuropsychological workup for a former Army captain, Charles Gatlin, who challenged his TBI disability rating on the grounds that the VA's RBANS screening test wasn't capable of measuring the brain injury he suffered from a car bomb in Iraq. It's a ruling with implications for all vets, but the VA says its policy won't change.

10 Tips for Easing the Stress of Transition and Change

By Ann Smith on May 19, 2015 in Healthy Connections
Some changes in life are forced on us. Aging is one. Other changes are the result of choices we make to better our lives or accomplish goals we have set. Either way, change is challenging and we always have a choice about how we will handle the transition.

Cannabis Addiction Is Linked to Higher Levels of Cortisol

Heavy marijuana use may trigger a stress response that increases cortisol levels.

Stressors!!

What stresses you out?

Boxing and Domestic Abuse

Why boxing is not a causal factor behind domestic abuse

Mad Men vs. Hill Street Blues

Which world do you choose?

Losing My Mindfulness: A Tale of Spilled Milk and Blue M&Ms

What I know to be true experientially is what scientific research now proves—that mindfulness meditation literally changes the brain. Take a brief thirty seconds and give it a try. Right here, right now.

Multiple Vitamins for Anxiety

Can a simple multiple vitamin be helpful to lighten the mood and calm anxiety?

Are You Your Thoughts?

How an objective leader handles negative thoughts

A Simple Way of Reducing Long-Term Stress in Dogs?

An unexpected finding — the simple act of walking your dog can affect its long-term ability to cope with stress.

Don't Curb Your Enthusiasm

Are you coming home tired and beat? Are you feeling pressure 24/7? Then apply an ET to feel better!

Wired To Eat For All The Wrong Reasons

If you don’t understand that evolution has wired you to eat sugary carbohydrates in order to self-soothe and calm you, then you will never be able to control your appetite. Find out what role neuroscience plays in our food cravings...

The Definitive Way To Respond to Others' Mistakes

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on May 13, 2015 in Feeling It
Mistakes happen. The question is - how should we respond? Research shows that compassion will help us come out ahead.

Lessons in Speaking From The Heart

By Greg O'Brien on May 12, 2015 in On Pluto
Laughter can be a powerful antidote to dementia—the pain, conflict, and stress of it. A good laugh, doctors say, reduces tension and can leave muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. Laughter boosts the immune system, decreases stress hormones, and triggers the release of endorphins—the natural drug of choice.

5 Things Successful Working Parents Give Up

Successful parents focus their spare time and energy on raising the children - not wishing they didn't have to work

How To Grow Through Failure

By Peter Bregman on May 11, 2015 in How We Work
Here’s what’s most interesting: When I followed my own Four Seconds advice and paused to take a breath and really consider what I was feeling, I found something deeper than the anger, sadness, and disappointment. In fact, I found their source. Shame.

Next of Kin Healthcare Dilemma is Stressful at Any Age

New Yale study is a wake-up call for anyone - singles, same-sex partners, lovers, the elderly - with no healthcare directives in place. In a hospital admission emergency, if no legal documents are in place, those we trust and love may be excluded from decision-making.