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Stress (biology) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Turkey stress reliever
Turkey shaped stress reliever. Squeezing the toy can sometimes help relieve stress in a person

Stress is a word used in biology and medicine to describe changes that can be seen in organisms. Stress can be physical or mental. Stress can describe a pressure, like the pressure of a person's upper teeth on their lower teeth while chewing. Stress can also describe an impact, when one object hits another.

Stress describes a living thing's response to a threat or some other change in its environment. This change can be called a "stressor." Stressors can vary in size and impact. A stressor can be internal and come from inside the living thing - like an illness. A stressor can be external, coming from outside the living thing - like an attack.

Types of stress

There are different types of stress. Each type has different characteristics and symptoms.

  • acute: stress causes immediate harm in a short time span. An example of this type of stress is having to finish an assignment quickly or avoiding a car crash.
  • chronic: stress causes continued harm and frustration. An example of this type of stress is continued unhappiness with school. This type of stress wears organisms down.
  • traumatic: stress after a scary and dangerous event. This stress causes fear. An example of this is experiencing a war or hurricane. This can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Stress management

There are different ways to deal with stress. One tip is to remove yourself from the stressor. For example if a school assignment is causing stress, taking a break from the assignment can be good. This break can include sleeping or engaging in hobbies.

Physical activity and exercise reduce stress.

Social support from friends and family can be helpful.

Health care professionals can help when stress is bad and affects physical or mental health.

Relaxing with meditation and deep breathing can also manage stress.

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