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    Stress from A to Z

    The more stress you experience, the more difficult it becomes to deal with that stress because of the toll it takes on you. The more overwhelmed you feel by the stressed in your life, the easier it is for anger, resentment, and bitterness to take root. Stress runs the gamut of negativity, from A to Z:

    Anger – stress is painful, and pain produces anger

    Blame – stress produces a siege mentality and makes you look for enemies to blame

    Cynicism – stress poisons your positive attitude and magnifies the negatives leading to cynicism

    Defensiveness – stress sends you over the edge, pushing back against anyone or anything that adds to your stress, resulting in a defensive posture

    Edginess – stress emphasizes the fight-or-flight response, making you on constant alert for the next source of stress, leaving you living a life on edge

    Frustration – stress that is perpetual grinds down your ability to be emotionally buoyant, leading to an attitude of frustration

    Guilt – stress internalized leads to feelings of self-shame, blame, and guilt

    Hopelessness – stress compounded over time wears down your optimism, producing a general sense of hopelessness about your life and situation

    Irritability – stress causes all of your senses to be revved to the max, leading to irritability

    Judgmental – stress creates tunnel vision, focusing people and events through a self-made filter, producing a narrow, judgmental view

    Know-It-All – stress produces a desperate desire for control in order to relieve or manage the stress, increasing the need for you to be right so you can be more in control

    Lashing Out – stress produces anger, which makes you vulnerable to lashing out to others in anger

    Martyrdom – stress and its tunnel vision can make you feel as if no one else suffers the way you do

    Nervousness – stress and the strain it produces can make you wary of where the next stress will come from, increasing your nervousness

    Out of Control –  stress leaves little room for reflection, recovery, or recouping, making you feel adrift and that your life is out of control

    Panic – stress and the out-of-control feeling it causes can produce a deep sense of panic over what in the world will happen to you next

    Quick Tempered – stress and the pressure-cooker environment it generates make you quick-tempered and reactionary

    Resentment – stress is a uniquely personal experience, leaving you vulnerable to feelings of resentment that others don’t feel the way you do

    Stewing – stress is relentless, an unwelcome companion that intrudes upon your mind and thought life, demanding constant attention

    Tension – stress heightens your senses, your feelings of danger, causing increased tension

    Unrealistic Expectations – stress and unrealistic expectations are the chicken and the egg; no matter which comes first negativity is unleashed

    Volatility – stress causes feelings of catastrophe, where anything can happen, resulting in a volatile, unstable world

    Worrying – stress accumulated from yesterday and present today cause worry about tomorrow

    eXtremes – stress and the siege mentality pave the way for extreme behavior as a desperate response

    Yelling – stress leaves little room for a peaceful or calm response but an open door to rage and anger

    Zero Energy – stress drains your battery and leaves you running, still running, on empty

    SOURCE: Chapter 5: “What’s Stress Got to Do with It?” in Every Woman’s Guide to Managing Your Anger by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.

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