Life is full of challenges, demands and surprises. No two days are the same. Our environment is always reshaping itself and we have to adapt in order to survive. These challenges from our environment trigger different reactions, physical and chemical, in our bodies.
Stress is the common term that is given to our reactions to these demanding situations. It not always a bad thing though. Stress can be broken into two categories.
Eustress is the term used to describe positive stress such as from moving house or changing jobs.
Distress is the term for negative stress. This undesirable emotion is commonly referred to simply as ‘stress’.
Acute vs Chronic stress:
The initial reaction against environmental changes is referred to as ‘acute stress’. This creates a temporary reaction on your body that may include accelerated heartbeat, increased adrenalin and an increase in awareness. This is your body’s way of dealing with the situation. The level of these reactions normally relates to the particular situation.
This could be caused by the demands of past, present or future events. These could be anything ranging from running late through to tragic events. Acute stress usually fades away after the event that triggered it ends.
When these temporary reactions become more permanent is when they start to become an issue.
Chronic stress is set off by an inappropriate handling of acute stress. This refers to being stressed without the occurrence of any event, or well after the cause is over.
Stress a part of life, not a way of life.
We can’t take negative stress out of our lives. That does not mean that you have to surrender control of your life to it either though. Here are some tips on how to be stress free and happy:
A calm and relaxed meditation can help find solutions to what seems an impossible problem. This does not need to be a whole day on the top of a mountain either. Studies have shown that 15-20 minutes a day can have significant benefits to focus and positivity.
Sport and Exercise:
It is a bit cliché because it is often the first advice given to deal with stress. This is for good reason though. Physical activity releases endorphins a hormone related with being happy and healthy. Exercise is a natural remedy against stress that can also improve your general health and help you to sleep better.
Talking out your problems with a group of friends may be the best solution to a problem that you are stuck on. Peer support brings us comfort and decreases the levels of stress.
Take up a hobby:
Not everything needs to be work or responsibility. Find an activity that you enjoy doing and gives you pleasure. Having something to focus on that isn’t related to the source of stress can really help to put things in perspective.
I will be the first to admit that having too many hobbies can have the opposite effect. Particularly if you feel that you are constantly out of time or tired. In most cases though, having something else to turn your attention to is helpful.
Bad habits like procrastination or over spending can lead to stress. These are often easy to resolve through a bit of planning. Simple, tested approaches like using a calendar or making a budget may do you wonders.
Sometimes we can’t deal with problems on our own and we need help to work out how to be stress free and happy. There are a range of people that are experienced in helping people through hard times. It is a common feeling that no one else would understand or that for some reason we need to work through things on our own. Sometimes though, we just need to recognize that we need a professional with an objective view.
You will always have stressful situations in your life. Being aware of this and taking steps to address it is the best way to manage them and be happier