On a basic level, stress can be defined as “a psychological feeling of strain and pressure.” It can be caused by big changes in a person’s circumstances, even positive ones such as having a baby. Stress can also be caused by a feeling that you are not in control of your life.

Stress can cause physical changes to the body, such as increased heart rate and shortness of breath. On a more emotional level, it may cause you to feel anxious or irritable and may lead to feelings of being overwhelmed by life.

For details on the symptoms and treatments for stress, see below.