Have you ever observed people around you, perhaps while on your commute to or from work or on your lunch break at a cafe? Now, how often have you thought that someone looked stressed?
What made you recognise it?
Stress is something everyone experience on a regular basis and it can have its benefits. Being under pressure before an exam, for example, can motivate us to be focused and help us do well; the same goes for the stress we experience before a sporting event or during an interview.
This is called eustress or otherwise known as good stress. This type of stress provides motivation, alertness and even that extra boost of self-esteem. When we experience eustress, our body releases stress hormones into our bloodstream, resulting in an increased blood pressure and heart rate and producing the fight-or-flight response.
The kind of stress we normally refer to, however, is, in fact, distress. This type of stress occurs when stress hormones are overactive and there’s no stress release.
What happens then?
Continuous stress creates tension, anxiety and even health problems due to the increased toxicity of the body, which put lots of pressure on our liver, kidneys and colon, our three main elimination organs. Their proper functioning is paramount to our health! These are all visible signs (remember when you identified that stressed guy on the bus?) but unfortunately they are too often underestimated because they are slowly becoming part of our frenetic lifestyle.
We ought to be aware of our feelings and emotions and learn to understand when we are struggling with too much stress.
Chronic stress can be detrimental, with serious repercussions on your brain, our wellbeing and even our social life. Luckily for us, our body is a very fine machine and before things get tough, it sends warning signals. All we have to do is listen and take action.
There are various ways to deal with stress. Learning stress management techniques, embracing meditation, or simply getting rid of whatever it’s making stress are among the options.
But whether we try to deal with good stress that is becoming just a little too much or with a period of serious tension and emotional stress, we must always remember that our mind and body need our utmost attention and we must try to give them full harmony. And rest!