Understanding and Managing Stress and Types of Stressors
Whether real or imagined, the demands stress produces have a measurable change in both the body and the brain. Sometimes the stress levels through your day are so minor they go unnoticed, but other times it can be so strong that you may feel hopeless; even lost. Fact is, stress is part of our daily lives. It can help you or hurt you, make you feel euphoric or lazy. The important point is to learn to handle it in healthy ways.
Contrary to popular belief, stress is not just a negative thing. Stress can be good or bad, depending on how it is managed and perceived, and then how it is put to use in a situation. Bad stress can result when you can not cope with the amount of pressure or trauma you are under. Good stress on the other hand, can help you work harder towards achieving your goals. Research shows that certain levels of stress are good in helping you focus and concentrate.
Stress will occur in response to stressors. A stressor is anything that stimulates a stressful reaction. Stressors can be anything from people to places or situations you are in that could cause you to react in stress. There are five general kinds of stressors, which are:
Biological Stressors: These come from biochemical imbalances, illnesses, and disabilities.
Cognitive Stressor: This is the way you perceive things or what you expect from situations you encounter.
Environmental Stressors: These include pollution, noise, crowding, poverty, or natural disasters you experience.
Personal Behavior Stressors: These are physical and mental negative reactions caused by using substances such as alcohol and drugs. Never getting out or exercising will also cause this.
Life Situation Stressors: Such as experiencing the death of a close relative or friend or trouble in relationships.
It is estimated that one in ten Americans suffer a low tolerance when it comes to stress. There are two simple ways to help relieve stress that is causing you trouble. The first way is to avoid the stressor or eliminate it altogether as this is what is causing your stress. The second is to change the way you see or act toward a stressor. Often, you come to learn the warning signs of frequent stressors to the point where you know its coming when it is. This should then allow you to find ways avoid oncoming stressors. At times, if you can stop yourself before the stressor takes effect, you may be able to rethink or attain a new perspective on your stressor, and therefore change it from a threat to a learning experience. Physical activity is one way of handling your stress; you can also learn to redirect your energy, relax, and just laugh.Planning ahead of time is another great way to reduce potential stress, as it adds to your confidence. If prepared for the unexpected, you can better deal with change in a situation, thus better handle your stressors, thus better handle your stress.