The Upsides of Stress: Moving Towards Strength!
Stress can be a chronic ailment, or it can be occasional hiccups in the journey of everyday living.
We all have been aware of the negative and the darker side of the stress, which of course is there, what we didn’t know probably was the positive side of it.
Stress: A respond to fight/flight/freeze situations
While stress is not a mental health disorder, it is a starting point for many! Stress has been considered as cognitive responses to threats to our well-being, or life changes which are constant! So, can we entirely eliminate stress? No! However, we can eradicate unnecessary and damaging stress.
Stress was designed to defend ourselves from tiger attacks and not the modern world problems that we are dealing with. It has a tight hold on our lives, occurring often, it is an epidemic in disguise. In today’s “modern world” we are in a surplus of stress, causing us our psychological, physical, and mental health. It doesn’t really vanish forever. It’s a journey and a circle of emotion that we have like happiness and sadness.
Eustress: Good Stress
Eustress is positive stress which helps us stay excited, motivated, and help us feel good in life.
Stress in a limited amount is Eustress which serves as a driver in human biology to perform better and respond with hope, meaning and vigour.
Stress, therefore, holds a very tricky place in our lives. Eustress is all about positively and sufficiently challenging yourself without over-extending and expending your resources.
Distress and Eustress are on either end of the stress spectrum. As humans, we strive to go one ladder up, always. We challenge our own comfort zone, and it drives us to achieve more and better. It’s when we feel overwhelmed that stress becomes distressed.
You are not alone if you have been associating stress with the negative experiences alone. Let’s see some examples from our daily lives to understand Eustress better.
Eustress at Work:
When you take up a new project at work which has the potential to add up to your skillset, then you get Eustress which help us take leverage of your energy and resources.
Eustress in Personal Life:
When you set challenging goals for yourself concerning your passion and interests, is another example of Eustress. Emotionally, Eustress is exemplified as you transgress your challenges and learn new things, you build self-efficacy and resilience, you are motivated to continue this journey.
When you complete a set of workout to build your body or muscle growth is again an example of Eustress. Or consider travel. Travel is inherently stressful, yet experiential learning with exploring new cultures, learning a new language, and trying different cuisines!
Stress can be useful in our daily lives, but we have to continually keep a check. Try to learn new ways to push good stress in your lives by trying:
· Challenge your comfort zone
· Learn, learn and learn new things!
· Exercise and practise physical movement
· Set realistic goals
· Take up new roles and responsibilities at work, home and community
Stress may arise in your work life or personal life, but there are various ways you can reduce the pressure off your chest. Overwhelming stress requires you to need a break, practice self-relaxation techniques to reset your mind, body and soul. We have looked at the positives of the stress so far, now let’s look at some tried and true ways to reduce stress.
1. Physical activity: Exercise and regular practice of body movements release endorphins which help in better sleep and feel good mood all day long.
2. Lavender surrender: I am listing my favourite here, you can choose a candle of your choice and lit up in your room. Soothing scents and essential oils significantly helps to calm your mind.
3. Draw Boundaries: Learn to say no, your availability should be regulated by you. You cannot control all stressors in life, but some can be. Draw healthy boundaries, communicate them and set consequences if someone does not respect them. Also, learn to appreciate the boundaries of other people as well, come handly a lot!
4. Say No to Procrastination: While procrastinating may give you temporal happiness and satisfaction, it can make you act reactively, not proactively! Stay on top of your priorities and get realistic with your goal setting.
5. Write Them Down: Journaling is another way of sorting out our stressors. When we jot them down or record them, we have it all in front of us and going through them gives us a new perspective and maybe solutions to tackle them. You can also try gratitude journaling, where you focus on the positive things you have in life.
Bottom line is, you may or may not control all your stressors in life, but you can manage your response towards them and use them to your benefit. It begins with how you mould your perspective.
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