Sickle cell disease: What is stress and how does it work?

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Some people are not aware of the stress that their bodies experience. Learn about stress, how it can affect you and how to identify how your body is feeling.

Key points

  • Stress happens to everyone. Some stress can be good because it can help you perform better, but stress can become a problem, especially if it builds up over time.
  • Stress can cause physical symptoms and a range of negative emotions.
  • It is normal to not be aware of the stress your body experiences. You can learn to figure out what your body is feeling with some training and practice.

Stress is a normal part of life. It happens to everyone. Anything that represents a change, or imagined change, can create stress.

When you are under stress, your body releases a number of hormones, including adrenaline. These give you a surge of energy that prepares you to react. This is often called the “fight or flight response.”

Some stress is good because it can help you perform better. When you cross a busy street, for instance, stress can make you more alert and careful. If you are competing in a sport, stress can make you practise harder and play better.

Think of some times when you think being stressed helped you to do better.

Unfortunately, stress can also become a problem, especially if it builds up over time. It can cause different physical symptoms and cause a range of negative emotions, including worry.

What are stressors?

  • Getting into a fight with your friend
  • Worrying about whether your parent(s) will be mad about something
  • Staying on top of homework
  • Having your grandmother from out of town come to stay at your house for a week
  • Getting a bad cold
  • Missing school because of a pain flare
  • Worrying about your parent's problems
  • Having a big test at school
  • Re/marriage of a parent
  • Not having enough money
  • Having a teacher who doesn't like you
  • Having friends not get along with each other

What are your stressors?

Now it’s your turn to list some things that have caused you stress:

Many teens say that they aren't under much stress in their life. You may feel the same way.

When you think of stress, you might think that it only comes from something really big, serious or overwhelming. But a lot of times, stress is caused by little things in your everyday life, such as missing the bus, having a bad night's sleep, feeling too hot, doing schoolwork or dealing with a teacher.

Some people are not aware of the stress that their bodies experience. This is normal. A little training and practice will help you figure out how your body is feeling.

Last updated: November 22nd 2023