In a medical or biological context, stress is a physical, mental or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. stresses can be external (from the environment, psychological or social situations) or internal (illness or from a medical procedure). Stress can initiate the "fight or flight" response, a complex reaction of neurologic and endocrinologic systems.
Stress can cause or influence the course of many medical conditions including psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety. Medical problems can include poor healing, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, poorly controlled diabetes and many other conditions. Stress management is recognised as an effective treatment modality to include pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic components.