Understand Your Stress

Stress is a very commonly heard word these days. Stress has become the modern day ailment which is considered as common as having any other health problem.

Stress is something that affects the person who experiences it, along with the ones around. It was found that at least one out of five people experience stress which is actually high levels of negative stress stretching at least 15 days or more per month. Hence, it is really an important thing to discuss.

Understand Your Stress : What it actually is!!Understand Your Stress : What it actually is!! BG | Wellness Hub

When we mention the word Stress, it is mostly considered negative. In fact, it shouldn’t be perceived in that way, because Stress is of both positive and negative kinds and we have already experienced them often. Stress is actually a reaction to a changing and demanding environment. To be more frank, Stress is about our capacity to handle the change though it makes us feel good or bad. It is obvious that change always happens. Now, it’s our part, how hard we take it.

Insights of Stress

Stress can be understood as our body’s response to a threat and often a short-term experience. This response occurs when our mind senses a threat. But what if the mind perceives every simple thing as a threat? Then, this stress which should be a short-term experience, maximizes its span becoming chronic.

Let’s take a clearer look into this. Stress is a body-related response whose source is mind. Our body experiences stress when a threat is sensed. For example, a student can feel stressed before an exam, imagining her question paper to be tough and she being incapable of answering it well. Which means, for the stress she felt, her mind got the source of information either from the past experiences or from anticipating the future.

“I play well when I’m stressed. Because that excitement of keeping up the expectations runs down my spine and alerts me all time. In a way, it is my secret of success.” says a successful player. So, Stress also has beneficial effects when perceived in a positive way.

Positive Stress or Eustress

Stress can be defined saying that it involves the set of emotional, physical and cognitive reactions to a change. This change can be good, making the stress considered as Positive stress or Eustress. Some of the life-changing events like getting a new job, moving in with a new life-partner, studying to master a new skill are generally considered positive, though they can be quite stressful.

It is already in our experience that we feel high and low levels of this stress. Depending upon the requirements and expectations on us, we feel highly stressed to meet them and achieve better. Conversely, when we have everything fine and there’s nothing much to do to prove ourselves or to cope up with the situation, we feel low tensed or carefree. So, in an instance if we need to meet the demands of a situation, it’s common to experience stress.

This positive stress or Eustress, makes us feel excited sometimes. Many of us won’t like to get rid off this. For example, when a man makes arrangements for his daughter’s wedding, he will be overwhelmed with positive stress and feels really glad having it. This positive stress brings out the best efforts he can put and gives great mental strength.

Negative Stress or Distress

Say it as Negative stress or Distress, an individual can sense it when the anxiety levels are getting high with a sense of unpleasantness clouding over. Distress squeezes out the energy making the person tensed and weak. This creates a feeling of helplessness wherein a person could feel it as his incapability. Negative stress can be Short-term or Long-term.

The symptoms of Distress or negative stress are

  • Having Anxiety or High concern
  • An unpleasant and uneasy feel
  • Perceived as something beyond the capability
  • Increased tension and decreased performance
  • Can lead to mental and physical problems

Negative stress can be caused by a numerous factors such as death of spouse or a family member, hospitalization of loved ones, being abused, bullied or neglected, divorcing the life partner or getting separated from partner, legal problems, Unemployment, financial problems etc.which are practically countless. The level of the negative stress on a person depends on how the individual reacts.

“In a view of getting applause at the client meeting, I have worked hard for more than a week. But on the day of meeting, my health got ruined and the files got corrupted. I had to face a hard time at work, even after giving an explanation.” says an IT employee expressing his stress.

Understand Your Stress : What it actually is!!Understand Your Stress : What it actually is!! BH | Wellness Hub

“In a haste of getting my work done, I started devoting all my time to work which kept on demanding for more. This finally has lead to a irrevocable crack in my personal family life.” repents a businessman.

Stress takes a toll on all of us, at some point of time. If we cannot handle it properly, it starts handling us. So, it’s always required to have an idea on what’s running on our mind.

Know What’s Cooking

Human mind is really amazing and interesting piece of work by god, where it has something always to think and if not it searches for itself. In an interesting study done by some professors of a renowned university, it was known that men can really stop thinking for some time and that they can absolutely keep their mind blank, while women can never understand such an art!! Yeah, poor things always have something to ponder about.

Pondering leads to anxiety, which could stay for longer periods. This anxiety when gets intense, in turn leads to stress. This anxiety leading to stress, could be acute or chronic. Acute means having severe effect for a shorter period of time and Chronic means having effect for longer periods of time, while the severity might vary.

Stress could result from various sources such as work-related stress (office environment, co-workers, policies, rewards, manager etc.) personal stress, relationship oriented etc. In order to fight the stress, Identifying the sources of stress is important. As well, Anticipation is the best solution to avoid stress. Expect the unexpected!!

Effect of Stress

How do you know a person is affected by Stress? As mentioned earlier, stress is reaction to a sudden change. A change which is mostly unexpected and uninvited, may be. Usually, under any condition, the effect of stress is known by the perception of such change.

The effect of stress is known by three things

  • How a person feels about it? (Feelings)
  • What the person thinks about it? (Emotions)
  • How does he respond to it? (Behaviour)

When there occurs a sudden change in daily life, or something unexpected happens in a row of expected things, Stress takes its toll.

For instance, when a person is in a committed relationship dutifully for a considerably longer period. But unfortunately, he came to know that his spouse cheated on him. This condition, leads obviously to a great stress.

Feels: The person feels shattered and might take time for the truth to sink in.

Emotes: He undergoes a turmoil of emotions and could feel the earth shaken.

Behaves: The real problem lies in how he responds to the situation. If he lets her go off his life, or reacts violently or if he pleads her to be with him or just tries to ignore everything and takes whatever comes.

Boredom

While the stress effects in some way or the other, it’s boredom which crawls like water under a mat, into the mind. As it is said that, “Empty man’s mind is devil’s workshop”, this Boredom could eventually lead to stress when not handled properly.

Understand Your Stress : What it actually is!!Understand Your Stress : What it actually is!! BI | Wellness Hub

Sometimes, when there’s no positive stress, it feels like there’s nothing to do. On the other hand, as there’s no negative stress, you have nothing to worry about. People do not like experiencing the both extremes of stress, either high or low. The lack of stress conveys as the lack of challenge and that can be termed as Boredom.

So, people usually seek a balance between both of these states; lack of stress and too much of stress. They like to have a little challenge and excitement in life, but not so much that they get overwhelmed by it.

Apart from the ones we usually deal with, there will always be some stress related which we keep on postponing to think of them. It’s highly important to focus on what’s really bothering. Psychological counselling could help you with this. A number of counselling centers with a variety of counseling techniques have come into existence to help people cope with this stress, these days, while one of its kind is Wellness Hub.

At Wellness Hub, we offer online counselling, video counselling, phone counselling and also offline counselling for the people suffering with different modes of stress. Offline counseling or online counseling are the more common ones. Through Online counseling, seekers can interact with the doctor being far away through video counseling or phone counseling. Offline counselling is the process where the seekers come to the office directly to meet the doctor in person. This helps them to interact with the doctor and acquire the solution to their problems, having a new view at their life with gratification.

 


Prof. Madhu Kosuri

I have completed 30 years of teaching and research in psychology at the Department of Psychology and Parapsychology, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India.

7 Comments

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