How do we deal with stress?
Stress involves both physiological arousal as well as cognitive recognition.
Some even claim that it is our thinking about environmental events that
make things stressful. In order words, if we think an event is not stressful,
then our bodies won't interpret it stressful. What do you think?
Stress is really a state of mind. Stress is our response to an environmental
event: the stressor. There is good stress (eustress) and bad stress (distress).
However, our body cannot differentiate and interprets all stress the same.
The stress response lowers our immune response thus we are more likely
to get sick when we are under stress. One technique for dealing with stress
is reframing - changing how we view the situation. Thus a problem becomes
a challenge. Can how you frame an event make it a good one or a bad one?
For example, does approaching a difficult situation as a challenge rather
than a problem make a difference?
The current interest in stress and stress management stems largely from
the fact that the stress response affects our immune systems, thereby
lowering our immunity and opening up to illness. Thus it is not stress
itself which makes you ill or exacerbates any immune-related disorder.
Rather it is the fact that when we are under stress, our immune systems
are less able to fight off germs that "causes" us to get sick.
How can we manage our stress? We first have to identify what causes our
stress levels to rise. Then we have to devise strategies for either lessening
with or dealing with the stressor. Sometimes there is really nothing we
can do about the actual stressor. We do know, however, that eating right
and exercising can help us feel better.