Stress is a physiological response of the body to a stressor (often an external event). According to Hans Selye (1978), an early pioneer of stress research, our bodies are affected by stress in ways that are often beyond our control. Selye notes three stages in the physical response: alarm, resistance and exhaustion. In the first stage of alarm, the body goes into alert, with an increase in heart rate and breathing as the individual considers a course of action (analogous to the “fight or flight” response). Resistance follows alarm when the body attempts to slow down and return to “normal” or homeostasis. Back in the “fight or flight” days (when a person either ran or fought back successfully), our bodies naturally made this change. Today, stress is typically more continuous. The body attempts to adapt, but if the event continues or if the individual is unable to adapt to the situation, exhaustion may follow. Exhaustion may mean chronic aches and pains to the adult, yet often exhaustion is the precursor to illness, accidents, obesity or anorexia, and premature aging (to name a few).  Of critical importance, however, is that the body does not need to get to the exhaustion phase for physical and psychological problems to occur. So, for example, if you experience too many colds, tightness in your body, fear of failure, weight gain, and/or not seeing oneself as smart enough, these may all be the efffects of too much stress.