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Stress - a Particular Pattern of Disturbing Psychological Reactions

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According to a high school psychology textbook, stress is "a particular pattern of disturbing psychological reactions that occur when an environment event threatens important motives and taxes one's ability to cope." In plain English, stress is the "wear and tear" our bodies experience as we adjust to our continually changing environment. However, not all stress is bad. Some stress is good. In fact, everyone needs stress in his or her lives, because without it, life would be dull and unexciting. Stress adds flavor, challenge and opportunity to life. Stress can pump you up, give you energy, or supply that zest for living. Stress is an unavoidable part of life.

The challenges caused by stress help to develop new skills and behavior patterns. The problems occur; however, when stress becomes excessive. It can become destructive and can turn into distress. Too much stress on your mind and body can make you feel miserable, worried, sad and ill. Contrary to popular belief, stress is not the pressure from the outside, such as divorce, death, burned supper, vacation that didn't seem like one, and isolation. Those are simply the stressors, causes to the stress, but your response to those situations constitutes the actual stress.

Teenagers face a specific kind of stress. It could be problems at home, with parents, with siblings, an alcoholic parent, divorce, or it could be problems at school, pressure from your teachers, pressure from your friends, or pressure from your parents to do well. Teenagers may also suffer from the high competition for jobs out in the "real world."

There is a sense of the feeling there are no jobs out there that are right for the individual teenager. Financial pressures will start to build up around this time. Part time work is scarce and parents don't have as much money as they did when the teenager was younger. Educational choices are another stress that teenagers come in contact with. The teenager will ask themselves "What do I do after high school?" and "How do I pay for college?" These are both good questions, and unfortunately not an easy question to answer. Then there are the stresses of living at home, which is a place where teenagers need to be, but yet feeling old enough to be on your own.

Teenage stress is not so different from those of adults. The reason stress among



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