We all feel stress at some point, during the course of our lives. It is a word that can arguably be used to define the effect that everyday life experiences have on the majority of individuals in society. But there is a difference between good stress and bad stress.
Good stress is also known by the term eustress, and is a type of mild stress that people experience on a regular basis. Instead of debilitating them, it will inspire and propel them to complete a given task or goal. It can be useful to help them achieve something important or challenging. But the important thing is that it is short lived and manageable. It can help motivate to achieve something, pass an exam, finish an essay or even give a speech to an audience.
Bad stress on the other hand is when things start to become too difficult and a build-up of stress can result in physical or mental illness. Stress at work, too much being expected of one person. More and more work being piled on to one person having to do two people’s work.
One of my clients was struggling with this. She said ‘I’m the manager, I should be able to cope. But I feel on edge the whole time, on the verge of tears but having to put a brave face on for my team.’ She went on to say that she dreads Sunday night because she knows how she will feel when she wakes up on Monday morning. Unable to drag herself out of bed and face the expectations of Monday morning at the office. Feeling unable to but knowing that she had to find the strength from somewhere to start the week again.
This is when stress gets too much. And that is when it starts affecting our bodies and our minds. We can end up feeling overwhelmed and on edge. Everything seems to be a challenge, exhaustion becomes the norm and our performance levels in all areas can dip. More importantly the body’s immune system can be particularly affected by bad stress, leading to a far greater susceptibility to illnesses such as colds, coughs and flu. This is because the hormones that are produced when we are feeling stressed can weaken our immune system. This can impact in many different ways. Research suggests that there is a link between the impacts of stress on ailments such as depression, heart disease and weight gain.
There is generally something that triggers the stress, this is often called the stressor. Different people respond to the same stressor in different ways. And not everyone will be stressed by the same things. It is not the stressor that makes people stressed, but their response to it. That response is a highly personal thing. It is useful to see if the stressor can be identified and often if the stressor is removed, the stress will improve. Obviously if work is thought to be the stressor, it is not easy or practical to remove the stressor completely. But sometimes certain aspects of work can be identified and reduced.
What can be done about stress?
But often the key to a stress-free existence is not to remove the cause of the stress. But rather to improve one’s response to stress. To build resilience and self-belief which can help in how to deal with those stressful situations. This can be difficult to achieve by yourself, but you are not alone. There are lots of people who are trained and can help you to build your resilience and self-esteem. This can lead to changes in the way that you live your life.
It’s always a good idea to take a bit of time out and really connect with how you’re feeling. Realising what is good for you and what is bad for you is a key to living a better less stressful life. And sometimes it is necessary to put out a hand for some help. This is a sign of strength not weakness. Most successful people have sought professional help and advice at some point in their lives.
I’m happy to have a chat if you think I can help you to manage the effects of stress on your everyday life.
Change is possible today
Thanks for reading – Sue call on 07890 141889 for more information