Lesson 1 What is stress and how it impacts people (especially vulnerable groups)

  • People often describe stress as a feeling of “being overwhelmed, worried, or run down”.
  • Stress is a normal body response to mental or emotional pressure that affects people of all ages, genders, and circumstances and can lead to both physical and psychological health issues. Stress can be caused by external factors such as family, work, and/or life events and circumstances that might affect someone’s life.
  • Nonetheless, some people are more susceptible to stress due to their genetics (e.g., family history of excessive stress) and others due to the fact that they are more likely to be stressed due to social, economic and political pressures (e.g., LGBTQIA+ persons, migrants, minority ethnic groups, people with low socioeconomic status, etc.).
  • For some people, stress can also be productive as it can provide a boost of energy to help in challenging situations. However, if stress is disabling, meaning it affects a person’s productivity or social and work functioning, it might be a sign of an anxiety disorder and should seek help from a mental health expert.

Video: How stress affects your body ?