Stress is the physical and psychological response to demands placed on an individual. An individual or family is considered stressed when their level of demands outweighs their resources. Stress produces emotional, psychological, relational, and physiological responses that are often unhealthy and harmful. Triggers of stress (i.e., stressors) have powerful effects on biological and psychological functions, and when individuals are stressed, their bodies can go into a prolonged state of heightened arousal that can be harmful. Researcher Julia Malia likens this to a car that is stuck revving the engine. Eventually, a car forced to accelerate nonstop for a prolonged period will wear down and become damaged. Likewise, human beings stuck in a state of prolonged arousal will eventually experience physical and psychological fatigue.

Stress researcher Robert ...

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