COPING WITH STRESS
Stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.
What is stress?
Stress is defined as a person’s physiological response to an external stimulus that triggers the « fight-or-flight » reaction.
Why do we feel stress?
Several factors may trigger the stress reaction, including danger, threat, news, illness, as well as significant changes in one’s life such as the death of a loved one.
Stress, a matter of judgment
In becoming stressed, people usually come to two conclusions: Firstly, they feel intimidated or threatened by the occurring situation, and secondly they somehow doubt that their capabilities and resources are sufficient to meet and overcome the perceived threat.
The sense of threat is usually more often psychological than physical. It may, for example, entail perceived threats to our social standing, to other people’s opinions of us, to our career prospects or to our own deeply held values. Just as with real threats to our survival, these perceived threats trigger the hormonal fight-or-flight response, with all of its negative consequences.
Leading a stressful life does not only affect the person living it, but everyone around that person too. It has an impact on the person’s family, friends, relationships as well as any children or co-workers.
Techniques of stress management include:
Altering your diet
Taking more regular and effective rest
Becoming more organized
Setting priorities can help reduce anxiety
Using a « to do » list of tasks that a person needs to complete can give a person a sense of control and accomplishment
Once you understand what stress really is and how it manifests itself in your life, it is much easier to control. Even though in many situations we may not be able to get rid of the aspect that is causing the stress in our lives, it is possible to control our reactions to the stress. By handling our reactions in a positive way, we can not only ease the stress, but in fact make it to work in our favour. We all have to undergo stress in some aspects of our life – it is inevitable. However, wouldn’t it be better to know how to deal with stress in a positive manner, rather than a negative and potentially self-destructive way?
The key to managing stress in life is to be able to recognize stressors and understand whether they come from an outside sources or whether they are self provoked. If you want to learn how to break free of the cycle of living a stressful life and get a sense of harmony back into your existence, then, talking to a psychologist can teach you the right way to go about living a healthy life that involves positive reactions to stress in a way that will help, not harm you.