The “Good” and The “Bad” Stress: What They Are and How to Relieve the Latter.

Each of us has probably experienced stress many times. Moreover, many of us are in this state every day, from waking up to going to sleep. But is it always a bad thing?

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Alarm bells ring, morning rush, traffic jams on the way to work, pressure from bosses and other stressful situations repeated time and time again. It may seem that stress is an unavoidable phenomenon, which is simply pointless to fight in city life.

However, doctors are unanimous: the feeling of a plunged inner spring is not only a source of psychological discomfort but also a provoking factor for many chronic ailments. This means that overcoming stress is an essential component of preventing health problems. In this article, we will talk about affordable and effective ways to help quickly relieve nervous tension.

Why stress isn’t always a bad thing

Stress is understood as the body’s response to any environmental factors that threaten to disrupt its well-being and habitual comfortable state. This situation causes a natural physiological response: the organs of internal secretion (primarily the adrenal glands) and the immune system produce hormones and other biologically active substances, which tone up the body in order to protect it from the threat coming from outside. Thanks to this reaction, a person can adapt to changes in the environment, whether it is the onset of cold weather, a busy period at work, a change of residence, or another set of circumstances that disrupts the usual order of things.

If you think about it, stressors have been all around us since birth – as children, we are forced to overcome one stressor after another in order to adapt to independent living. The conditions in which overprotective parents surround their babies often result in a child growing up weak and sickly. Thus, stress is an important condition for the full development of the body and personality.

A simple example: exercise is also stressful. When we go for a run or repeatedly lift dumbbells, we put our own body in uncomfortable conditions, and a properly designed system of training implies a constant increase in the complexity of exercises. But due to the fact that the process is gradual and systematic, the body has time to adapt to the stress, and as a result, the endurance grows and the stress experienced does not exceed physiological limits.

Useful stress is called eustress. But there is another form of this condition – distress. It is a physical or psychological stress that exceeds the abilities of a particular person. It is important to know that distress is an individual phenomenon. So, 10 km run for an average person, who is used to spending their time on the sofa in front of the TV, will certainly be a hard test and, what is more important, harmful for health, while a marathon runner will go through this distance with pleasure and without any negative consequences. Exactly the same situation is observed with psychological distress: the first day at a new job often becomes an ordeal for an employee (especially if the work requires quick reactions and active interaction with others), while a professional accustomed to stress enjoys solving non-standard tasks in non-stop mode.

But not always the repetition of certain actions (in the case of the marathon – training) can make desultory stress turn into useful stress. For example, students who deprive themselves of sleep in order to turn in their essays on time. Regular sleep deprivation won’t make sleep deprivation any less harmful, let alone make it useful. So, you have to decide what your priority is – good grades or health. If you need both, you should look for alternative ways – for example, order custom writing or try to get a deadline postponement. You may have to spend some money on that, but trying to restore damaged health is usually much more expensive.

Distress – what you also should know

Where does this “harmful” stress come from in adults who have been living by the rules for years? Unfortunately, in today’s environment, we are influenced by a large number of aggressive external factors that we cannot control. We do not always perceive them as sources of stress, so we often do not take any measures to protect ourselves. As a rule, it is a psychological burden: it is an excess of unnecessary information entering our consciousness against our will, and the need to be in close contact with a large number of strangers, and the lack of conditions for a long and restful sleep… Any city-dweller is in a state of forced tonus daily, but you realize it only when distress is manifested by clear symptoms of problems in the physical state.

The body’s ability to adapt to the effects of the environment is limited, so sooner or later the constant stress will affect our health and well-being. Efficiency will fall and fatigue will increase. Nervous tension will be reflected in our behavior: in chronic distress, a person quickly goes out of balance, becomes aggressive, irritable, whiny. Immunity can fail: it is no accident that the risk of catching an infectious disease is much higher during overexertion. Finally, the manifestation (first manifestation) or exacerbation of many somatic diseases is due to stress – so, stomach ulcers, psoriasis, and even some types of tumors are found in people who have recently had a severe nervous shock or have been under the influence of heavy psychological stress for a long time.

The danger of stress is usually underestimated: few people make conscious efforts to prevent its harmful effects. Well aware that “it is bad to be nervous,” we continue to lead a familiar lifestyle, refusing to admit to ourselves that we can not relax even in the hours of rest. Our society has not yet developed a culture of coping with stress, but preventing the exhaustion of adaptation mechanisms is a wise investment in one’s health, which avoids the cost of medical services.

Ways to relieve stress without medication: from exercise to lifestyle changes

If you feel that chronic stress is threatening to turn into a serious health problem, you need to take action. Making lifestyle adjustments can make you feel much better, especially if the symptoms of nervous exhaustion occur only occasionally and periods of rest at least temporarily return your spirits and good spirits.

Many people have already appreciated the possibilities of psychotherapy. Although just as many people who need the help of a specialist consider psychotherapy to be something to be ashamed of. Contrary to stereotypes, it is not just a question of “talking to a stranger for money”: a competent specialist is able to find the problem that leads you into a state of stress, impartially assess the opportunities to change the situation, and monitor the success of the actions taken. Even a few weeks of regular counseling can help patients solve mood and behavioral problems that previously seemed intractable.

Meditation is an important skill for disengaging from the external environment and allowing a weary mind to rest. The ability to “turn off thoughts” is especially important for residents of big cities, who do not often go out into nature or even just to the green areas that protect them from the noise of the metropolis. Experts say that even a few minutes of meditation a day gives a chance to make up for one or two hours of sleep deprivation and cope with bad moods.

Yoga combines the benefits of physical training and meditation: doing a variety of asanas, a person focuses on the sensations in his body, distracting themselves from intrusive thoughts, and the tension and stretching of muscles during the class accelerates metabolism, which at the physiological level helps to cope with stress. The advantage of yoga over fitness and other types of sports training is the opportunity to attend classes at any age, at any physical fitness, regardless of chronic diseases and a feeling of fatigue.

Breathing exercises are especially useful for people who, due to their character traits, react extremely emotionally to stress, thereby aggravating the situation. Five to ten calm inhalations and exhalations can save you from rash actions, and the habit of breathing regularly according to one of the special programs, which require only a few minutes a day, helps to fight irritability or bouts of anxiety.

There is an opinion that some people are more susceptible to stress simply because of character, but do not assume that our temperament is a constant value and cannot be controlled. People who are irritable or melancholic are indeed much more likely to experience the effects of stress, but working on yourself is good for your well-being, even if those around you don’t believe in the success of such an endeavor.

Featured image by Anna Shvets/Pexels

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    Manage stress through meditation

    by Benjamin Louis
    Community//

    How to Ensure Mental Sturdiness in Stressful Situations

    by Nigel Allsop
    Community//

    13 Ways to Manage Stress

    by Jacintha Akkerman
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.