Our Perceptions = How Stressed We Feel
We often identify specific events, people, or situations that seem to make us feel stressed. It's as if these things automatically cause us feel stressed out. In reality, it's how we perceive an event, the meaning we give to it, that leads us to feel stressed or not stressed about it.
The interesting thing about stress is that it begins with
our own perceptions of things!
Have you ever noticed that some people can feel quite stressed out about a particular event while others don't seem to be bothered by it at all? For instance, if three of your friends all get a poor grade on a test, you might notice some different reactions. One friend may seem mildly annoyed for an hour or so. Another friend doesn't seem to be bothered at all. The third friend, however, might become quite alarmed by this poor grade. She can't get it off her mind, she vows to study three times as hard next time, she can't concentrate on her other work, and she might even find it difficult to fall asleep that evening. She might become increasingly concerned about all the grades she'll make this semester, and wonder whether her GPA will suffer.
In a case such as this, a poor grade on a test means something different for each of your friends. The same situation has happened to all three, but each person feels more or less stressed about it because of what it means to him or her.