Just about everyone is talking about stress today. The term has become a buzzword, and you may even feel like people are competing over who is busier and who is more stressed out. Truthfully, we have all personally experienced stress at one time or another – or maybe even daily. With all kinds of life pressures, it’s almost impossible not to. But, at what point is it something to look at deeper? At what point is stress dangerous?
Believe it or not, there are two kinds of stress, and one of them isn’t bad.
Understanding Eustress and Distress
Prominent psychologist, Dr. Lazarus, defined two types of stress: eustress and distress.
Eustress, or short-term stress, can be beneficial to us. It motivates us to act or respond. For example, when our vehicle is cut-off on the highway, eustress helps us think quickly, and hit our brakes to avoid an accident. Likewise, if we see someone getting hurt, we will likely jump to action because of eustress. Eustress activates us, it’s stress that we subconsciously feel we can handle.
Distress, on the other hand, is negative stress. Distress happens when we believe a situation is outside of our ability to manage well. Distress feels terrible, not activating, and does not empower us to act constructively. Distress can occur in both the short-term and the long-term. Long-term, distress impacts of physical and mental health. Distress is potentially dangerous stress.
When Stress Becomes Dangerous
Sometimes, everyday stresses add up and pile on our backs. What may seem like a minimal stressor, such as misplacing our keys, can be just the thing that breaks the proverbial camel’s back. When we are under stress over a significant period of time, we can develop chronic stress which may begin to impede our regular functioning.
Chronic Stress Impacts the Body
Chronic stress and anxiety can impact our neuroendocrine stress pathways, putting stress of our nervous systems and elevating stress hormones. Over time, chronic stress lowers our immune system, our body’s ability to ward off true infections and illnesses. We are sick more often, more tired and struggle to manage even seemingly basic life tasks.
Is This You?
If you’re worried about your stress levels, we invite you to read more and reach out. There are things you can begin implementing today to get yourself on the road to feeling better and better managing life’s stressors.
Sahaja can be a wonderful journey to begin connecting with your own inner energy, distance yourself from stress reactions and feel more connected. Read more here.