Log in

High Stress IELTS Listening and Reading Practice

Published on April 26th, 2018 | Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 by | Category: Listening Practice in English | 5 Comments on High Stress IELTS Listening and Reading Practice | 99 Views | Reading Time: 3 minutes

High Stress IELTS Listening and Reading Practice

High Stress IELTS Listening and Reading Practice

Selected Text (below 500 words)

Source: American Psychological Association

Stress is often described as a feeling of being overwhelmed, worried or run-down. Stress can affect people of all ages, genders and circumstances and can lead to both physical and psychological health issues. By definition, stress is any uncomfortable “emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological and behavioral changes.” Some stress can be beneficial at times, producing a boost that provides the drive and energy to help people get through situations like exams or work deadlines. However, an extreme amount of stress can have health consequences and adversely affect the immune, cardiovascular, neuroendocrine and central nervous systems.

How stress harms your health

In addition, an extreme amount of stress can take a severe emotional toll. While people can overcome minor episodes of stress by tapping into their body’s natural defenses to adapt to changing situations, excessive chronic stress, which is constant and persists over an extended period of time, can be psychologically and physically debilitating.

Unlike everyday stresses, which can be managed with healthy stress management behaviors, untreated chronic stress can result in serious health conditions including anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.  Research shows that stress can contribute to the development of major illnesses, such as heart disease, depression and obesity. Some studies have even suggested that unhealthy chronic stress management, such as overeating “comfort” foods, has contributed to the growing obesity epidemic. Yet, despite its connection to illness, APA’s Stress in America survey revealed that 33 percent of Americans never discuss ways to manage stress with their healthcare provider.

Chronic stress can occur in response to everyday stresses that are ignored or poorly managed, as well as to exposure to traumatic events. The consequences of chronic stress are serious, particularly as it contributes to anxiety and depression. People who suffer from depression and anxiety are at twice the risk for heart disease than people without these conditions. Additionally, research has shown that there is an association between both acute and chronic stress and a person’s abuse of addictive substances.

Managing your stress

Studies have also illustrated the strong link between insomnia and chronic stress. According to APA’s Stress in America survey, more than 40 percent of all adults say they lie awake at night because of stress. Experts recommend going to bed at a regular time each night, striving for at least seven to eight hours of sleep and eliminating distractions such as television and computers from the bedroom.

Many Americans who experience prolonged stress are not making the lifestyle changes necessary to reduce stress and ultimately prevent health problems. Improving lifestyle and behavioral choices are essential steps toward increasing overall health and avoiding chronic stress. The key to managing stress is recognizing and changing the behaviors that cause it, but changing your behavior can be challenging.


Study the complete archive of IELTS Listening Practice.

Lecturer, author or publisher: Sharon Horesh Bergquist on TED-Ed

Watch this video on YouTube.

5 comments on “High Stress IELTS Listening and Reading Practice”

Leave a Comment

Chat