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Stress Factors

What Is Stress?

Stress is our body’s response to change. Stressors are the situations that bring about change. How we deal with and react to stress determines how it will affect our body.

What Kinds of Change (Stressors) Can Lead to Stress?

There are many different types of change that can lead to stress. These include changes in:

  • health
  • relationships
  • work
  • family
  • friendships
  • lifestyle
  • financial resources

Loss is often involved in these changes.

High levels of stress or chronic stress can lead to anxiety and depression. Ongoing anxiety and depression are huge stressors.

Factors that impact your stress level

Medical research has found seven factors that contribute to your overall stress level. The seven stress risks are:

  1. depression. Learn the signs of depression and what to do if you have them »
  2. sleep apnea. Learn the signs of sleep apnea and what to do if you have them »
  3. distress. Learn the signs of distress and what to do if you have them »
  4. disturbed sleep. Learn the signs of disturbed sleep and what to do if you have them »
  5. loss of sense of control. Learn what you can do to feel more in control »
  6. chronic stress. Learn the signs of chronic stress and what you can do if you have them »
  7. many stressful life events in the past year. Stressful life events may include good events such as a wedding or a new job or bad events such as a death, loss of a job or divorce. Learn what actions to take to help you cope with major life stresses »

Why is Stress a Risk Factor?

Chronic stress is ongoing stress that continues for months at a time. Long term exposure to stressors is a concern. Our body begins to respond negatively to this stress, and over time this can negatively affect our health.

Also, repeated “peaks” of your stressors will increase your overall stress level, and may increase your risk of a heart attack.

How Do I Know if My Stress Level is High?

You may already know that some of these heart stressors are high. Take the Heart Stress Risk assessment to find out your heart stress levels (opens in new window) »

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