Stress: The pattern of specific and nonspecific biopsychosocial responses of an individual to stimulus events that disturb its equilibrium, create challenges that require adaptation, and tax or exceed its ability to cope. In other words, our responses when dealing with life challenges. These responses are:
- physiological (e.g. digestion changes)
- emotional (e.g. feeling tense)
- cognitive (e.g. increased focus on the challenge)
- social (e.g. talking to others about the challenge)
Related concepts: Adaptation, Coping.