Fighting with Stress
When situations seem threatening to us, our bodies react quickly to supply protection by preparing to take action.
The physiological response to a stressor is known as reactivity Physiological responses can accumulate and result in long-term wear on the body
Major Stress Factors
Situations that have strong demands Situations that are imminent Life transitions Timing (e.g., deviation from the “norm”) Ambiguity Desirability Controllability
Not all stress is Bad
Distress is a continuous experience of feeling overwhelmed, oppressed, and behind in our responsibilities. It is the all encompassing sense of being imposed upon by difficulties with no light at the end of the tunnel.
Examples of distress include financial difficulties, conflicts in relationships, excessive obligations, managing a chronic illness, or experiencing a trauma.
Eustress is the other form of stress that is positive and beneficial. We may feel challenged, but the sources of the stress are opportunities that are meaningful to us. Eustress helps provide us with energy and motivation to meet our responsibilities and achieve our goals.
–Examples of eustress include graduating from college, getting married, receiving a promotion, or changing jobs.
A good example of a stressful situation for many people is taking a test. If you find testing to be stressful, you might notice certain physical, behavioral, mental, and emotional responses.
Things Commonly Stressful to People
|Relationship with partner||Appearance||Spiritual/Religious issues|
|Relationship with family||Physical Health||Major/Career decisions|
|Relationship with friends||Not “fitting in”||Attitudes/thoughts|
|Trauma||Getting married||Buying a house|
|Change in residence||Change to a new school||Change in amount of recreation|
|Change in amount of social activities||Change in eating habits||Death of friend/family member|
We Generally stress out because of two major reasons,
–We perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful.
–We don’t believe we have the resources to cope.
Find a support system. Find someone to talk to about your feelings and experiences
Change your attitude. Find other ways to think about stressful situations.
Be realistic. Set practical goals for dealing with situations and solving problems. Develop realistic expectations of yourself and others.
Get organized and take charge. Being unorganized or engaging in poor planning often leads to frustration or crisis situations, which most always leads to feeling stressed.
–Plan your time, make a schedule, establish your priorities.
Take breaks, give yourself my time. Learn that taking time to yourself for rejuvenation and relaxation is just as important as giving time to other activities.
–At minimum, take short breaks during your busy day.
Take good care of yourself. Eat properly, get regular rest, keep a routine. Allow yourself to do something you enjoy each day.
–Paradoxically, the time we need to take care of ourselves the most, when we are stressed, is the time we do it the least.
Learn to say “no.” Learn to pick and choose which things you will say “yes” to and which things you will not.
–Protect yourself by not allowing yourself to take on every request or opportunity that comes your way.
Get regular exercise. Exercising regularly can help relieve some symptoms of depression and stress, and help us to maintain our health.
Get a hobby, do something different. For a balanced lifestyle, play is as important as work.
Slow down. Know your limits and cut down on the number of things you try to do each day, particularly if you do not have enough time for them or for yourself
Learn to relax. Develop a regular relaxation routine.
–Try yoga, meditation, or some simple quiet time.