Is Stress Inevitably Harmful To Health?
Actually, no. There are several different types of stress that range from eustress, which is a positive and exciting form of stress, to chronic stress, which has been linked to many serious health issues and is the type of negative stress most often mentioned in the news. While we want to manage or eliminate the negative types of stress, we also want to keep positive forms of stress in our lives to help us remain vital and alive. However, if we experience too much stress in our lives, even “good” stress can contribute to excessive stress levels, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed or having your stress response triggered for too long. This is why it is still important to learn to relax your body and mind periodically and cut down on unnecessary stress whenever possible.
Learn more about stress and health.
How Can I Tell When I’m Too Stressed?
Stress affects us all in different ways, not all of which are negative. (In fact, the stress of an exciting life can actually serve as a good motivator and keep things interesting.) When stress levels get too intense, however, there are some stress symptoms that many people experience. For example, headaches, irritability, and ‘fuzzy thinking’ can all be symptoms that you’re under too much stress. While not everybody who’s under stress will experience these specific symptoms, many will. If you find that you don’t realize how stressed you are until you are overwhelmed, it’s important to learn to notice your body’s subtle cues and your own behavior, almost like an outside observer might.
To notice how your body is reacting to stress, you can try this body scan meditation
(it helps relax yourself at the same time).
What Can I Do When I Feel Overwhelmed by Stress?
We all feel overwhelmed from time to time; that’s normal. While it’s virtually impossible to eliminate times when events conspire and the body’s stress response is triggered, there are ways that you can quickly reverse your body’s reaction to stress, buffering the damage to your health and keeping your thinking clear, so you can more effectively deal with what’s going on in the moment.
Is There a Way to Be Less Affected by Stress?
Actually, by practicing a regular stress management technique or two, you can eliminate some of the stress you feel right now and make yourself more resilient in the face of stress in the future. There are several different things you can try, ranging from a morning walk to an evening journaling practice to just making more time for friends. The trick is to find something that fits with your lifestyle and personality, so it’s easier to stick with.
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