In Stress and Coping

About stress and stress management

Did you notice that stress is a part of your life, didn’t you? It’s more likely, your answer to this question will be “Of course, stress lives as a shadow and there is no way getting rid of it”. As much as you live with it, you start misunderstanding some of the basics about this phenomenon and its role in your life. Why does it matter? Researchers found that stress is a prominent factor in a number of illness from cold to heart diseases and cancer. Reducing stress cannot only help you feel well, but also can achieve the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.

Stress is not the same for everyone and hence, each of you is experiencing stress in different ways. What you perceive as a stressful event, for another person may not be stressful at all. And vice versa – what you see as not stressful, another person may feel being under stress. Depending on your perception of the situation, you respond to it accordingly. Probably, you read in the Internet or hear from TV advertising clips that stress is always bad for you. It is yes and no at the same time. Stress as a human condition can be compared with the violin string: too little and the music is dull and raspy, while too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps. In small amounts stress itself is not bad. The key is to understand how to manage it. Your ability to manage stress would make you healthy and happy and mismanaging it may hurt you and might lead to experience more stress.

Sometimes, you may camouflage symptoms of stress through administering medication.  it does not mean that there is no stress in your life. If you are the person who is taking drugs to deal with stress, be aware tat an absence of symptoms does not mean absence of stress. This approach of coping may deprive you of the signals you need for reducing the tension on your physio-psychological systems. Although being a psychological occurrence, stress you could experience its symptoms in a very physical way. Felling anxious, experiencing shortness of breath or simply moving with haste or acting quickly can be physical signs of stress. Felling overwhelmed and/or having difficulty in concentrating are common mental signs of stress. Many people assume that the so-called ‘minor’ symptoms such as headaches or stomach acid, could be safely ignored. However, health specialists recognize ‘minor’ symptoms of stress as early warnings that your life is getting out of hand and that you need to manage your stress. Ignorance of these symptoms might bring you to the situation when you start feeling ‘major’ symptoms (a heart attack, for example). So, early warning signs are best listened to earlier rather than later.

If stress is everywhere, what can you do about it? Unfortunately, no universally effective stress reduction technique exists, although articles in pop psychology claim to know them. All of you are different not only in perceiving the situation as stressful or stress-free, but your reaction to similar situations are different as well. The most effective technique is stemmed from solving life’s problems therapy that recommend planning your life to stress overwhelming you. Effective planning involves setting goal(s), simplify your complex problem, and start finding solutions of each simple problem. The more details of this coping technique can be found in my book The Solving Life’s Problems Workbook.

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