We often refer to stress as an emotion, but it is actually a much more complicated phenomenon. Stress is, in fact, a complex mix of emotional, physical and behavioral responses. Feeling "stressed out" is your body's way of saying, "I cannot cope with this challenging situation."
But stress is not always just a result of something negative happening to us. It can be something that takes us out of our usual routines, or something that creates more responsibility or work for us—even something very positive and exciting, like planning a wedding or adjusting to life with a new baby.
Having some level of stress is a necessary and positive thing. Stress can be motivating and can enhance performance—ask any athlete or stage performer!
But too much stress is a bad thing. Chronic stress causes health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as immune deficiencies, which can make it harder for your body to fight infections. Chronic stress also causes memory and concentration problems, and can lead to depression and anxiety disorders.