Stress

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.