Stress is a part of our lives. It’s definitely a part of mine. It can be frequent and unavoidable. Whether it’s internal or external stress, it can happen in all sorts of different situations and sometimes it overwhelms us. I think everyone has felt this at some point in their lives. You get to a point where it’s all a bit too much to handle.
Stress happens when we interpret a situation as a threat that will have a poor outcome. Maybe we’re overworked and experiencing burnout, or we’re under-challenged and experiencing boreout. Yes, that’s a thing. We can be so bored that it causes stress. All of this is what’s called distress or “bad stress.” But is stress always negative? It certainly feels that way. The answer is no. There’s something called good stress.
What is good stress?
Eustress, or “good stress” motivates us and allows us to perform in a stressful situation because we see it as a positive challenge instead of as a threat. Maybe it’s the nerves before an important presentation or a meeting with a potential investor. We can succumb to the pressure we’re putting on ourselves (bad) or we can allow it to energize us to perform well (good). We can be defeated by stress or let it inspire us. By framing a situation the right way, we can change how it affects us for the better. Remember, stress is caused by our reaction to a situation, not the situation itself.
How do I manage chronic stress?
Many people have difficulty managing stress and for some, it becomes chronic. Chronic stress can have a bad effect on our overall health. Sleeping difficulties, frequent headaches, and a higher likelihood of getting sick are just some of the side effects. The situations that trigger stress are different for everyone. A stressor for one person can have no effect on another. We are all unique and that’s why we need to take the time to understand ourselves and how certain situations affect us so that we can find personal solutions. As a start, we should all try to make sure that we regularly step away from work and go do activities that reduce stress. Take a walk or do a breathing exercise. It’s all about finding balance.
If you are looking for certain activities to relieve stress, the important thing to remember is that you need to find what’s right for you. Here are some suggestions:
- Autogenic Training
- Sensory deprivation tank