Stress is Like a Bridge

April 7 2021

As we continue National Stress Awareness Month, I would like to share how the Stress Management Society explains that stress is like a bridge.  If a bridge is carrying too much weight, it will eventually collapse.  But before this happens, there would be some noticeable warning signs, such as bowing, buckling, or creaking.  They compare this same principle to human beings.  Fortunately, it is usually possible to spot early warning signs of excessive pressure that could lead to breakdown.

This “bridge collapse” in a person can take many forms:

  • Mental and emotional breakdown
  • Suicidal or homicidal ideation or behavior
  • Serious health issues including: cardiovascular disease, profound impact on body functioning making the body more hospitable for cancer, and stroke 

The take home message here is that when we can recognize that our bridge is accumulating too much pressure, we are able to take action to prevent the bridge from collapsing.  An important note here is that everyone’s bridge is different so what may cause one person’s bridge to collapse may not cause another’s. 

Some signs of a bowing and buckling bridge to look out for:

  • Being more accident prone
  • Forgetting things
  • Showing a negative change in mood or fluctuations in mood
  • Avoiding certain situations or people
  • Using more negative or cynical language
  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Showing a prolonged loss of sense of humor
  • Becoming increasingly irritable or short-tempered
  • Having more arguments and disputes
  • A tendency to su­ffer from headaches, nausea, aches and pains, tiredness and poor sleeping patterns Indecisiveness and poor judgement
  • A problem with drinking or drug taking
  • Looking haggard or exhausted all the time

*This information was provided by the Stress Management Society.


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