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1)  Match the words and definitions*

a)    Staggering1)    To be in charge of; supervise
b)    Manage2)    Too much of something; to put a great demand on something or someone.
c)    Absence3)    Shocking; astonishing
d)    Overload4)    The lack or denial of something considered to be a necessity.
e)    Deprivation5)    The state of being away from a place; lack of.


2)  Discuss the following:

  • How often do you experience stress?
  • What are the consequences of stress for you and for those around you?


3)  Listen to the audio and answer the following questions:

  • What are the numbers related to stress among workers in the US?
  • What are the consequences of stress for the economy of the UK?
  • What were the main differences in the lists of most common sources of stress in the US, in 2014 and in 2017?

4) Now read the transcript below and check your answers:

A stressful life

Pressure: It comes from so many different places – work, relationships, family, and also from ourselves. The world seems to demand more from us as the years go by. It wants more of our time, more skills, more specific knowledge and more “friends” on social media, and, more planning for the future. But let’s be honest – it seems a bit much to expect from people, doesn’t it?

The result is a staggering rise in the levels of stress, in recent years. According to studies, 75% per cent of adults in the US reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress routinely in 2017, a 4% increase from 2016. Half of all adults said their stress had increased.

Among workers, 80% feel stress in their jobs. Almost half of them say they need help in learning how to manage stress. Teenagers are also getting more and more stressed out, with psychologists warning about serious long-term consequences for high school students.

The effects can be even measured in economic terms: In the UK, 13.5 million working days are lost each year as a result of work-related stress and diseases related to it. All these absences combined come at the cost of 28.3 billion pounds per year. Panic disorder and, especially, depression are some of the most common problems associated to stress. And if that’s not scary enough, fewer than 25% of people with depression receive effective treatment worldwide.

Although the causes of stress may be somewhat the same in different countries, there is evidence that suggest that local events may have a very strong impact on the mental health of the population. According to the American Psychological Association, in 2014, the leading causes of stress were: job pressure, money, health, relationships, poor nutrition, media overload and sleep deprivation.
But this list changed in 2017, when the most common sources were: The future of the nation; money; work; the current political climate; violence and crime.

In a more personal level, specialists agree that people should be able to talk about it when they are feeling under pressure and they should not try to do more than they can do without feeling like they’re losing control.


As Ghandi once said, There is more to life than increasing its speed.

*Answers to exercise 1: *1-c, 2-a, 3-e, 4-b, 5-d

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