Definition of Stress

Is there a definition of stress that is universally agreed upon? According to the American Institute of Stress, there is not. What may be stressful to one person, could even be pleasurable to another.

Many look to the person who is considered the first to research what we know as stress in the 1930’s, Hans Selye. His original definition was stated as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”.

Later he later defined stress as “the rate of wear and tear on the body”. Many consider this a better definition of the process of aging.

Because stress is so subjective, any definition we might come up with in the future needs to accommodate for fact that what may be stressful to one person, may not to another. Perhaps as Selye suggested, no one really knows what stress is and yet everybody does know.