Stress is a medical term; it
had none of its contemporary connotations before the 1920s It is a form of the Middle English destresse, derived via Old French from the Latin stringere, "to draw tight."
and originated from usage
in physics to refer to the internal distribution of a force exerted on a material body, resulting in strain. In the 1920s and 1930s, biological and psychological circles occasionally used the term to refer to a mental strain or to a harmful environmental agent that could cause illness.
In this form, one can relate it in Buddhist Philosophy to the important notion of dukkha and is
commonly translated as "suffering", "anxiety", "stress", or "unsatisfactoriness"...[its] commonly explained according to three different categories:
The obvious physical and mental suffering associated with birth, growing old, illness and dying. [This dukkha that relates phenomenologicaly to mortality; and our consciousness of this].
The anxiety or stress of trying to hold onto things that are constantly changing. [This is dukkha that relates the externals of life - relationships, family, friends; labour, work and politics]
A basic unsatisfactoriness pervading all forms of existence, because all forms of life are changing, impermanent and without any inner core or substance. [This dukkha that relates to the metaphysics of existence itself]
One notices a threefold expansion of the transitoriness or impermanence from life, to society to the world. One of the principal practices is to control dukkha.
In contemporary European philosophy, following on from the Frankfurt school; and developing a notion from Marx - alienation - is to remove himself from the rhythm of Nature to that of the Factory; to thus divide his being; to alienate himself from himself and to aloows himself to be remolded into a commodity; one understands early Capitalism as the industrialisation of the Body; and middle Capitalism as the industrialisation of the Mind; in the situationist analysis of Guy Debord one becomes distracted by the Spectacle; Simone Weil wrote of the rootlessness of the peoples of Europe (L'Enracinement); and Hannah Arendt diagnosed the arrival of mass society as a melting down of particularities (The Human Coindition); similar sentiments have been also diagnosed by poets; for example the disenchantment of the world by the erasure of traditional Christianity in the reactive counter-enlightment has Matthew Arnold predicting in Dover Beach that
ignorant armies clash by night
and Yeats recognised the validity of Nietzsches diagnosis that filled him with forboding, as he wrote in the second coming
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
The broad nature of the question makes it easy to align other philosophies that in a broad sense also discuss this subject - for example in Antiquity there was the Roman philosophy of Stoicism, this in many ways is aligned with Buddhism; and the Greek philosophy of Epicurus; and here one might usefully recall Budai or the laughing Buddha and also the Ruba'iyyat of Omar Khayyam, the Persian Islamic Poet who wrotes the quatrains:
Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse - and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness -
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.
since he says:
Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
To talk. One thing is certain, that Life flies
One thing is certain and the rest is Lies
The Rose that once has blown for ever dies