Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action.
There isn’t one person in this world that doesn’t come in contact with demands and threats. The difference isn’t who has them and who doesn’t, it’s how you deal and react to it.
Here is something you may not know.
Not all stress is bad.
You heard me right.
When you kick into survival mode, that is stress.
When you face a dangerous situation, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity—all functions aimed at survival. In the short term, it can even boost the immune system.
It is chronic stress that has those same nerve chemicals that are life-saving in short bursts that can suppress functions that aren’t needed for immediate survival. During chronic stress your immunity is lowered and your digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems stop working normally. Your body which would normally return to normal after a short bout of stress never does when it’s chronic.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health there are at three different types of stress that negatively effect your physical and mental health.
- Routine stress related to the pressures of work, family and other daily responsibilities.
- Stress brought about by a sudden negative change, such as losing a job, divorce, or illness.
- Traumatic stress, experienced in an event like a major accident, war, assault, or a natural disaster where one may be seriously hurt or in danger of being killed.
In case you are wondering side effects of stress, I have included a link that shows 50 common signs and symptoms of stress here.
Not everyone has the same side effects to stress. One person may feel it all in their head and neck where another has digestive problems. Each person reacts differently. You have to watch for your own signs of stress.
Now, the important part. The reason you are reading.
How can you manage stress.
You can take two different people and put them in the exact same situation and they will react differently. You may see one person barely bat an eye at the change and just take it in stride but another person have a mental or physical break down. It isn’t that one situation was worse, it’s all about how you handle it.
I could sit here and tell you you to think positive. I could tell you that exercising is great for stress management or you should eat right and a proper diet will help you not be stressed I could even tell you to read a good book or do something you love. I could tell you all of that and I would be right but you’ve heard that all before, haven’t you.
Instead I’m going to ask you to ask yourself 4 questions.
- What is real right now? Are you worried over something that has happened, is happening, or something that hasn’t happened yet. If it hasn’t happened yet, Stop. We always find a way to handle the things life throws at us. You just have to believe that you will find a way if it happens. Until it does, don’t stress over it.
- Is this a problem or a fact? Problem: Something that can be solved. Fact: Something that cannot be changed. If it’s a problem, find a way to fix it. Instead of using the energy stressing over it start working through it to find a solution. If it’s a fact you just have to accept it because stressing over it is wasteful energy.
- Is this my business? Is this your responsibility? Is this something you can fix or something someone else has to fix. Maybe it does effect you in a roundabout way but lets go back to questions 1. If it isn’t your business but may effect you in the future, is it real now? We often pick up stress vibrations from others. You need to recognize if the stress you feel is really yours or someone else’s.
- How do I want to feel right now? Guess what? You get to choose! You could find every little thing that that could go wrong and dwell on that or you could feel empowered and confident that whatever happens you will work through as it happens.
I truly believe that these 4 questions will help you keep a handle on a lot of the stress in your life when you couple it with the basic stress management tips you’ve heard a thousand times. I found these awesome questions on Life Coach Louis Thompson’s website here. She gives a great example if you need more clarification on it.
Thanks for reading! Until next time…