Understanding stress

Today everyone’s life is full of changes and new challenges. 

of U.S. adults say they lack the time they need to do the things they want. 

of Americans say they are sometimes stressed in their daily lives, including one in three who experience stress “frequently.”  


With each change and challenge comes more stress. The heart races, hands get cold and sweaty, muscles tense, and the stomach feels jittery.

People of all ages experience stress in their lives:

  • Adults are faced with difficulties on the job or in the home
  • Teens feel stressed as they try to live up to the expectations of others, and
  • Young children face situations where they feel afraid or rejected.
by Tim Tharp.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
Ceejay has never been pretty or popular, but she knows who she is: she's younger sister to Bobby, the most charming bad boy in town. Bobby's a bit wild, but with his big heart and sense of fun, everybody loves him. And nobody understands Ceejay like Bobby. Now, Ceejay can't wait for Bobby to return home from his tour in Iraq. But then he turns up unannounced and seems to be avoiding his family. And he's so different. His wild streak has become reckless. His sense of fun has become desperate. And seeing this, Ceejay's own tough shell begins to crack. How can she believe in being strong when her hero is broken? As she tries to get Bobby back, Ceejay begins to reexamine her family, her community, and everyone in her life. What she finds is that true strength is not quite what she thought it was. From the Hardcover edition.
High-octane women : how superachievers can avoid burnout
Sherrie Bourg Carter.
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2011.
Carter, a psychologist, columnist, and author who specializes in extreme and traumatic stress in women and children, discusses the specific challenges and stresses that high-achieving women face and how to avoid burnout caused by them. She notes that traditional stress-management techniques aren't always helpful to women; discusses how to become more aware of stress from the workplace, society, technology, gender attitudes, and their individual lives; details how to measure stress levels and determine whether burnout is approaching; and offers solutions. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Stopping stress before it stops you : a game plan for every Mom
Kevin Leman.
Grand Rapids, MI : Revell, 2011.
Dr. Kevin Leman has seen scores of women who are overcome by stress. With humor, insight, and practical solutions, this bestselling author helps women manage the stress points in their lives: kids, career, husband, housework, money, and crammed schedules. Women will find out how to begin enjoying a more serene lifestyle by making stress work for them.
Uptight and in your face : coping with an anxious boss, parent, spouse, or lover
Nina W. Brown.
Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger, c2011.
Brown (counseling, Old Dominion U.) explains how to deal with an anxious or uptight boss, parent, spouse, or intimate partner. She describes the five most common types of uptight people and their general behaviors, characteristics, and attitudes; how patterns of intensity, anxiety, and self-absorption are displayed; how readers may be contributing to their own distress; and coping and self-development strategies to reduce or eliminate the negative effects of interacting with these high-stress people. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Understanding that stress is the body’s way of defending itself can help us deal with stressful situations.  Our response to these stressful situations often offers an opportunity to do things better or discover something new about ourselves.  

But it is important to be sure stress does not begin to have a negative impact on our health.

Stress may be normal, but that does not make dealing with it easy.  Take advantage of the many resources available to help understand what causes stress, identify signs of stress, and provide tips for dealing with stress.  

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff