Stress is simply the way we feel when we are under pressure and feel unable to cope with that pressure. In such situations, moderate stress can be positive – it makes us more alert and helps us perform better. Some stressful situations can even be exhilarating – they have the feel of a roller coaster ride. But excessive or prolonged stress can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, and illness. Stress can be personal or work related and it can also be caused by a change in your life.