Once the audience’s participation died down, Dr. Bevilacqua brought some clarity to the idea of stress- what it is, what causes it and who is prone to suffer from it.
First, he echoed that yes, there are many things that can trigger a reaction through the day. But it morphs into “stress” by meeting several criteria:
- affecting our ability to be productive
That means that while some things may cause discomfort at the moment, it may not actually develop into stress.
Is a trip to the dentist stressful, or just not enjoyable? It becomes “stress” only if the effects of anticipating the visit are over a prolonged period of time and get in the way of other activities.
How about a child’s test? If they are concerned about the test, study, get a little nervous right before, take it, and then go about the rest of the day, then it’s inaccurate to label it as “stress.” But if they constantly worry about that class, get ‘sick’ in order to avoid taking the test and can’t go to rehearsal or practice for another activity due to that event, then yes… it’s stress.