All About Stress Part One
By Charles Hopkins
Published 09/20/2007 | Health
Stress can be good for you or it can be bad for you. There are both
positive and negative stressors in life. Good or positive stressors can
be things like going on vacation, putting on a party, a close baseball
game, meeting a deadline, getting married, a job interview or winning a
lottery. All of the former can cause stress, but usually you get
feelings of increased energy and excitement. Good stress can pump you
up and help get your creative juices going. Some stress is healthy and
Everyone has a different threshold for stress. One person may
respond quite differently to the same situation than another. For
example, someone being cut off in traffic can create a stressful
response in one person and quite a different response in another. This
depends on the attitudes and viewpoints we have taken on in our
lifetime. One person may react with road rage shaking fists at the
perpetrator; while another will rationalize that perhaps this person
didn't notice me or is in an extreme hurry and just slough it off. The
latter is the healthier response.
Stress can either invigorate you or zap you of energy. Some
symptoms of bad stress or "distress" are being tired all the time,
always on edge with a short fuse, depression, change in sleeping
patterns, frequent headaches, sore shoulders and neck, changes in
weight patterns, relationship problems, diarrhea, dry mouth, sweaty
palms and tight throat to name a few.
Your body will let you know that you are under too much stress. Pay
attention to what your body is telling you. Consistent distress (bad
stress) can lead to physical illness such as high blood pressure, heart
disease and anxiety. Stress is like a guitar string, if you have the
right amount of tension you can play beautiful music, but too tight a
string and it can snap! This is when people have nervous breakdowns.
They overload with distress and have no way to cope with all the bad
stress in their life.
Remember stressors are the situations that happen to you on a daily
basis i.e.: being cut off in traffic. The degree of stress you
experience is your own response to that stressor. You must adapt to the
stressors of daily life. There are many demands to life that we have to
deal with on a daily basis such as working, raising children, getting
along with our spouses and the people around us, finances, illness,
ageing, isolation, lack of friends, everyday events in the world, etc.
It can be tough, but we must deal with it or it will deal with us. If
you are over stressed you must get support from your doctor, friends
and family or a psychologist. It is healthy to reach out! You may think
that this is just simple common sense, but sometimes we can't see the
forest for the trees and the obvious is not always visible, when
someone is in the middle of distress or a crisis in ones life.
This is part one of this stress article. Next month watch for part
two, where you will learn how stress affects the body and what you can
do about it. This article was written in order to get you thinking
about your everyday experiences and to assess how you react to everyday
Have a nice day!