Do you feel exhausted, crying out of a sudden, loss of or increase in appetite, experience sleeplessness or oversleeping, headaches, feel that you are lacking of time, or being a failure?

If you consider yourself to be experiencing any of the above conditions, do not keep it within yourself. Stress does not have to be a liability. Find a proper way to release the stress.

In this current fast-changing era, it is very common for us to live in lives filled with stresses. According to the Singapore Social Health Project Report, Singaporeans are generally happy with their lives but the feeling of anxiety and dissatisfaction have grown enormously. The unstable economic downturns have increased the worrying signs and pressures on Singaporean. Approximately 67 per cent of them have reported seeing more stress-related illnesses.

What is stress? Stress refers to an event or series of events that leads to strain, which frequently results in physiological and psychological health problems. Stress usually occurs in a couple of ways. The positive energy that encourages us to strive for better outcomes is known as eustress. Whilst many may also experience negative stress – the distress that often distorts our life perceptions and brings us to despair.

One of the profound psychology professor and book author discovers that there are four key elements to psychological stress that influence our lives intensely, namely frustration, conflict, change, and pressure.

Firstly, frustration.

Frustration usually comes from the mental blocking accomplishment of your personal goals. These could be due to a lack of basic interpersonal skills, a lack of confidence in yourself, or any self-imposed barriers that you have created that hinder you from pursuing your goal. You want to become an engineer but your mind keeps telling you that this probably cannot be achieved as you are less capable in Math. Eventually when you see a lot of calculus in engineering class you get upset easily. The mental thought has already congested the path to your desired goal and this makes you frustrated.

Secondly, conflict.

Conflict occurs when two or more behavioural impulses compete for an expression. For example, you have two preferred choices but you are forced to choose only one path. This is where conflict arises. Furthermore, as our society is mingled with the concept of western individualism and oriental collectivism, many of us may be struggling with the issue of being independent yet eventually succumbed to following the group’s decision.

Thirdly, change.

Change generates stress as it often requires an adaptation phase in your current living conditions. There are changes everywhere, be it your personal relationship or finances. Though these changes may be positive, it can lead to an interruption to your daily routine, which could possibly lead to stress. For example, giving birth is an absolutely blissful moment. However,  the nursing time, scheduled medical check-up, and many more have conquered most of your time, you may tense up in readjusting yourself to the new changes.

Lastly, pressure.

Many of us living in this urbanized society have a common sickness, called the “hurry sickness”. We expect everything to happen in the next minute which involve excessive expectations and demands for someone. Many people are extremely demanding to themselves that they might not be aware of, and this eventually drives them beyond the limits – the physical limits and the psychological limits and burnout occurs.


1 National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre. (2013). The Singapore Social Health Project Report, retrieved from National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre website,

2 Weiten, W., & Lloyd, M. A. (2000). Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment at the turn of the Century(6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.