Stress – Educate Yourself, Then Manage It
What is Stress?
Life has it’s ups and downs. It happens to everyone. But, how you handle it is directly related to your stress level and overall happiness.
What is stress exactly? In simple terms, it is how you relate to the situations around you. Whether it is work, family, school or any other situation, you react, change or adapt according to the stressor (the situation).
Everyone acts differently to stress and it goes without saying that we don’t always act in a productive or positive way. Case in point, traffic jams. How often to you see people waving their arms violently, honking their horns and behaving in otherwise unproductive manners when stuck in traffic? These are responses to a stressor, maybe not the best ones, but responses nonetheless.
Good Stress versus Bad Stress
There are two types of stress: good stress (“eustress”) and bad stress. Good stress can refer to situations that spur you on to take a needed action. For example, knowing that your sports rival has a better race time than you can cause you to train harder to win. A little healthy competition is good for the soul.
Bad stress is the kind that comes from situations that we don’t want to confront or find not to our liking. An example would be finding out that you being laid off by your company or death of a loved one. These situations are ones that cause significant physical and mental stress
There are other examples of bad stress, but you get the picture. You’ve probably dealt with bad stress in your life already or are dealing with it right now.
Stress and Your Response
So, what happens when you experience stress? The body goes through a “fight or flight” response. The adrenaline gets pumping; your heart starts racing and every fiber of your body is ready for something. When the world was young, this type of response probably saved many people from being eaten by angry hungry animals.
Nowadays, that response happens when we are in danger. But, it also happens in people who are experiencing very stressful situations. When there is too much stress, the body is actually affected in a negative way.
The best way to handle stress is to manage it. That sounds simplistic but it can be easier than you think. Stress management can save you a lot of headaches – literally.
Wondering why you feel on edge all the time? It could be stress. Learn the difference between good and bad stress so you can learn how to manage it.