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© 1998, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide defines stress and its relationship to anger. It discusses a stress management model, stress-busting technique and helps the reader develop a stress management plan.

What is Stress?

Stress has become a catch-all term to describe events or circumstances that make us feel tense or angry. Stress often is caused by events over which we have no control (destruction of home by tornado or sudden death of a family member) or by a positive event (birth of child). However, most stress comes from the daily pile-up of small aggravations and frustrations.

It is not "things" or events themselves, however, that cause stress. It is how you interpret and react to them. If the source of stress is within your control, you can take action to change the situation. If it's beyond your control, you can learn to accept it or find ways to minimize its physical and emotional impact. Experts agree that high levels of stress over long periods tend to be paralyzing and reduce your ability to cope. It can lead to serious illness or depression.