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Four Dimensions of Stress

Cognitive Dimension:

The cognitive manifestations of stress have to do with our thinking and thought processes. If one’s stress level is elevated and remains unchecked, concentration, focus, organization, and clarity of thought can be compromised. Elevated stress levels can also affect one’s ability to remember important details, and to listen to others. Time management and organization can all suffer in the cognitive realm when stress increases.


Affective Dimension:

Likewise, at the affective level, one’s emotions can be effected by stress. Irritability, rapid mood swings, unpredictable anger, and sadness are all accentuated by increased stress levels.


Behavioral Dimension:

Increased levels of stress can also result in behavioral changes like alcohol and substance use and abuse, and absentee issues. It can also compromise our relationships with others. As stress increases, we become less capable of positive interactions with others.


Physical Dimension:

Physically, high levels of stress have been linked to changes in appetite and sleep patterns (either increases or decreases), weight gain or loss, and other health issues like high blood pressure and ulcers. Stress can also impact exercise regimens that in turn can have dramatic impacts on our behavior, our emotions, and our cognitive functioning.