When under stress we are seldom capable of analyzing exactly what is stress really doing to us. So this investigation has to be done at another time when we are calm and relaxed. (Some thoughts on relaxation that you might find interesting if you need it.)
In our bodies stress will appear with an array of symptoms and we should be observant to those. But it is in the mind where it all starts and that's where the most effort should be placed to rid the problem by the roots, so to speak.
to not be loved
to not be good enough
to not be accepted for who we really are
to be all alone
to be ridiculed and laughed at
to be unworthy
to be forgotten
to be too plain
to be too awkward
to be fooled
to look stupid
to be cheated
to loose a loved one
There seem to be no end to this list.
When you feel stress shortly before a specific job is all done you probably don't feel stress because you have a lot to do (although that is exactly what you think) but instead because you want your superior to think you managed well and he will like you better and you will get recognition and a reward of some kind and so - you will feel accepted and loved. And as this acceptance and love is so important to you, you feel stressed until you are sure you will get it.
The fear that causes you to feel stress is usually deeply rooted, and to get rid of it you need to do some work. It isn't very hard work though. If you are determined to loose the fear, the work is no worse than having the fear. If you don't, it will never go away. Now, I've made that an easy choice, haven't I?
What you would want to do is to recognize the feeling for what it is. You might want to remember that the fear of the fear, is much worse to experience than that which you fear.
What is stress doing to fear?
Once there's fear there are stress feelings connected to it. Stress is a reaction to the feeling of fear. It could help you become more aware of your fear, if you are curious about why you feel stress. We normally treat our fears by surpressing them to the state of "non existing". When we have forgotten about them we might not recognize them as feelings of fear once we find them again. We say "I just want his parents to like me." instead of "I'm really afraid they will think I am not good enough." and "If you keep to the plan everything will be so much easier." instead of "If anything goes wrong I'm afraid I will get the blame, I was always held responsible when my sister and I got into trouble when we were children, even though it wasn't my fault.
You can tell what is stress here and what is fear by determine what happened first, and the intensity of the feeling. Of course you would want your boyfriends parents to like you but if your feeling is intense there is a fear behind it. If it's not you can laugh and be casual about it.
Another effect of fear is low self esteem. In fact, what is stress, but a fear that whatever could go wrong will do so. Any feelings of stress on top of that claiming your worries are justified... No, that's not a good thing.
The healthy choice when you have a fear that has come up to the surface with the help of your stress feelings is to use your mind power. Recognize what you are going through as fear, find its source and reason with yourself about how it arouse in the first place and finally determine if it's still meaningful to carry it.
What is stress exchangeable for?
This is actually a good question because it has two sides. One, you'll want to feel as little stress as possible. Every time you begin to feel stress and manage to use your mind to talk yourself out of the destructive thinking with the help of positive thinking you will be pleased. On the other hand, your mind and body are so used to (and familiar with) getting into the stress mode and stay there for a long, unhealthy time that the stress mode autopilot is much faster than your mind (that will want to reason with you) and hence your mind will be run over.
You lack practice and belief in the first method while that which you are used to, however destructive it may be, is familiar and most people tend to resist change.
Nevertheless, to gain and sustain a healthy, happy life, and as an answer to the question "what is stress exchangeable for?" the solution is to free oneself from the need to control everything to its limits and instead learn to accept changes in life. And see them for what they are: A Gift From God; A Blessing; An Opportunity To Learn.
We cannot fail. As long as we strive towards our goals, assist others on their journey and share what we learn, while giving and receiving love, we cannot fail.