What is stress?

When there is an unbalance between the stimulation and demands of your environment and your ability to respond to them. For example if you under a little change in your life you are able to cope with the new challenges that it involves, but if you suffer a huge change, you may not be psychologically ready and need more time and energy to adjust yourself to the new situation.

How many kinds of stress are there?

There are 2 kinds of Stress : EUSTRESS and DISTRESS

Eustress: is the positive and essentially valuable stress, that helps you to develop your adaptive skills to the level to face, the demands of your environment.

Distress: is the negative kind of stress. When the demands are very strong or very frequent, and the skills or abilities are not enough developed. It produces anxiety and suffering.

How can I recognize that I am under stress?How to recognize the symptoms?

Stress is experienced different in any human being and depends of which culture, and which family are you from (there are learning patterns to respond to stress). Western people somatise in a very different way from eastern or Caucasian. Any family has also its “weak points” where the members of the family have learned to somatise more. For examples some studies have found that the members of the same family grow migraine, others stomach-ache and others sleeping problems.

There is a huge diversity in the stress symptoms, (and sometimes overlapping with some other emotional problems as, anxiety, depression, etc.) I am going to give only some examples about the most usual ones:

Physiological symptoms:

  • Head-aches or migraine
  • digestive system disorders
  • Chest pain or tachycardia
  • muscle pain or back pain
  • sleeping and eating disorders
  • difficulties in breathing
  • Sexual problems: precocious ejaculation, veganism, impotency, etc.

Psychological symptoms:

  • Getting angry, happy, sad or frightened much easier than before.
  • Dizziness or getting absentminded, difficulties to think or concentrate in work.
  • loosing  self-confidence and self-steam
  • possibly loosing efficiency at work
  • Anxiety and suffering
  • Alcohol abuse
  • difficulties to perceive pleasure, may be sexual lack of appetite ( low libido)

Relational symptoms:

  • Getting angry with everyone, and sometimes without reason
  • Perceiving you as being persecuted by your boss and/or colleges.
  • Misunderstandings and difficulties in your communication with others.
  • Tendency to stay home rather than socializing
  • Loosing sense of humour (becoming too serious)
  • Loosing spontaneity in your relationships

How can I help myself coping with this problem?

  1. You have to develop your psychological tools to fight with stress and find the balance again:
  2. Your personal aptitude towards the perception of stress and suffering in life.” Suffering helps me to grow”
  3. Your personal skills to adapt your self to new environment or activity
  4. Your emotional resources to keep you healthy (for example your family and friends emotional nourishment)
  5. Your ability in finding new alternatives to problems and making decisions
  6. In being in contact with your inner energy.

 (People, who carry a very thick mask, are more vulnerable to suffer from stress

Could you give me any suggestions to prevent stress?

  • Learn how to say “NO”, put limits to your boss, your colleges, your spouse and children. Don’t try to be superman or superwoman. You are not!
  • Do some moderate physical exercise every day. Move, walk, dance, run and enjoy it.
  • Practice some relaxation exercises at home or at work.
  • Try to learn your “weak points” and develop them.
  • Improve your communicational skills and making decision abilities.
  • Care for your emotional nourishment; be in touch with the people you love.
  • Breathe deeply and often
  • Control your scheduling , let some time to relax
  • Approach the problems, as challenges that make you grow psychological.
  • If you are in a different culture from yours, try to learn the wisdom of the new culture and enrich yourself with new perspectives.
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