Stress: The Good, Bad & Ugly

Your Stress Capacity

You may often wonder how much stress you are carrying within yourself and whether it is good or bad for you. How much is too much stress? Can you handle different amounts of stress?

Let me ask you a question; have you ever asked yourself how much stress you can handle before it becomes unhealthy for you? Maybe you need to be made healthier to handle a little more stress because your breaking point is too sensitive.

In other words, do you possibly need thicker skin?

Stress is the body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat which in turn releases chemicals giving you the added strength and energy to protect yourself.

At the same time, it also has the ability to shut down your ability to think, feel and act rationally plus your body’s ability to repair itself.

Stress on your Body

Your body also has a way of protecting itself. Should it feel threatened for any reason, your body automatically goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode rapidly. In extreme cases, your body is programmed to go to ‘freeze’ mode automatically, though it happens rarely.

However, regularly experiencing the ‘fight or flight’ or even the ‘freeze’ mode can have a bad impact on your life. This bad impact can help in raising blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process.

In extreme cases it can leave you in a vulnerable state by being a host to a number of emotional and mental problems.

The Benefit of Stress

So, stress is bad for you, right?

Not exactly. There’s ‘good’ stress too.

Good stress is what you could feel before a job presentation, test, interview or any such events which in turn makes you alert, focused and energetic, giving you an extra boost of energy that you need to perform at your best. It is this good stress that keeps you constantly on your toes by sharpening your concentration.

The Disadvantage of Stress

Stress can have limitations, which include how much you can handle and for how long you can handle it. Stress beyond its limits for your capacity can effect your body, emotions, mind, and behavior. It has the power to break your body completely down if it is not well managed.

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When stress becomes a long-term battle that is not avoided it will also drain your energy and ability to perform well. While unchecked stress may prove to be damaging in the long run, it can just as well be checked to be controlled.

4 Quick Tips to Shatter “The Bad” Stress

  • Physical activities improve managing stress. This can include walking, running, swimming, dancing plus aerobic classes. Getting the nervous system back into balance can be achieved through focused movement. Most times if you have been traumatized or have gone through the ‘freeze’ mode, then ‘getting active’ is the only thing that can help to get you ‘unstuck’.
  • Engaging socially with friends or closest ones also helps in reducing stress. In fact, opening up in a healthy relationship can release the hormones that reduce stress, which will in turn strengthen the bonds.
  • Do something you enjoy doing. This could include throwing yourself into a cooking class, going bowling, catching a show, or maybe considering a new adventure you’ve always wanted to explore.
  • Relaxing is a refreshing way to relieve stress. Go take a warm bath and listen to soothing music. Take a walk along the beach while gazing at the sunset. Or you can simply lay down in a quiet room and read a book.

Seesaw your Stress

Remember stress isn’t always necessarily bad. You just have to learn to bring the good stress up and the bad stress down. Within your comfort zone, stress can help you perform better and motivate you to do your best.

But yes, when stress gets outside your comfort zone and overwhelms you, then it’s time to take care of it before it overtakes you life and destroys you.

Let’s keep the good and get rid of the bad and ugly.