Handling Stress and Anxiety: Stress

Dr. Clifford N. Lazarus


“Bryan, I’m not going to recommend any further testing at this point,” Dr. Mullen stated. “Your physical symptoms seem to be occurring as a result of stress. I am, however, going to recommend that you see a therapist. You need to learn some stress management skills.”


Stress is a term that comes from physics and literally means pressure or strain that tends to distort a body. From a psychological standpoint, stress can be thought of as anything that challenges us to adjust or to cope.

Stress can come from our environments, from our bodies, or from our minds. Environmental stress might be caused by pollution, noise, or crowds. Bodily stress is caused by illnesses, injuries or straining the body in some way.

• Most of our stress is caused by our negative thinking and faulty reasoning ~ creations of our own minds.

While some stress can be good for us by helping to motivate action and solid performance, too much stress, over prolonged periods, can lead to physical and psychological problems. Many recent scientific studies have begun to uncover the wide variety of unhealthy effects that acute or chronic stress can have. There have been reports of people in Japan literally dying from overwork.

Problems ranging from high blood pressure, migraines, and stomach disorders to anxiety, depression, and panic, to name only a few, are often stress related conditions. Some research even points to the possibility that certain disorders of the immune system are triggered by stress.

Since everyone is unique, there is no single best way to manage stress. Stress management programs must be tailored to individual needs, strengths, and limitations. Some people benefit from relaxation methods, some from exercise, while others do better with meditation and mental focusing techniques, or by learning how to identify and change stress inducing thoughts and beliefs. But, many require a customized stress management package consisting of a variety of techniques. For you, the key point here is:

• Learn all you can about what causes stress in your life, and what works for you in dealing with it.

We’ll take a closer look at stress and what to do about it in the next few chapters.


Dr. Clifford N. Lazarus is a licensed psychologist, Co-founder and Clinical Director of The Lazarus Institute. In addition to his general psychotherapy practice, Dr. Clifford Lazarus specializes in health and neuropsychology.

Dr. Clifford Lazarus received his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. in psychology from Rutgers University where he was a Henry Rutgers Research Scholar.  Seen here are excerpts from one of his books, The 60-Second Shrink – 101 Strategies For Staying Sane In a Crazy World, a book, he co-authored with his father “One of the ten most influential psychotherapists in America”  Arnold A. Lazarus, Ph.D.  For more details on Dr. Clifford Lazarus visit this link to The Lazarus Institute.  Or visit his page here on friendlysuggestions.com.

Books available at Amazon by Arnold and Clifford Lazarus

Direct links to two highly recommended books by Dr. Clifford Lazarus and Dr. Arnold A. Lazarus:

The 60-Second Shrink: 101 Strategies for Staying Sane in a Crazy World 

Don’t Believe It for a Minute!: Forty Toxic Ideas That Are Driving You Crazy

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