Whenever we experience an event that might be stressful, we always go through a similar procedure. First we want to see if the event is threatening or challenging. We do this by using a process called primary appraisal. Primary appraisal includes:
- deciding if the situation is threatening
- evaluating resources
- choosing what to do (deciding how to cope)
After we do something to limit the impact of the stressor, we check to see if our attempt worked; this process is called the secondary appraisal. We continue to appraise the situation until we feel its not stressful anymore.
As we experience a stressful event, the stress affects our body, our feelings, and sometimes, our health and our relationships with others.