We know that there are two types of stress – ‘eustress’ or good stress, one that is beneficial and motivating, and ‘distress’ or bad stress, which cause anxiety and affect your overall health. Stress can come in the form of emotional, physical or mental stress.
Most people know at least something about the negative effects of stress, such as:
- Headaches & chronic pain
- Increased level of anxiety and irritability
A less talked about part of stress are the benefits of stress, which can lead to increased focus, alertness, and often even giving a performance in a given task. However, how people handle stress can have a huge impact on whether they can reap any benefits from it, or if stress just overwhelms them. Too often, people turn to alcohol, cigarette, binge eating, or splurging their hard-earned cash on useless things. These can lead to other serious conditions like addiction, which can negatively affect health and finances.
There are healthy ways to handle stress though.
Find someone to talk to
Finding someone you can talk to about the issues causing you stress and distress can be very beneficial. Bottling up emotions only ends up making things worse, and talking is a great outlet to express your concerns and feelings. It can also put you on the path to a longer term solution to your problems. You can talk to family and friends or someone who will be less judgemental, like a counsellor; or if you are well trained, you might provide counselling for those around you who might need the help.
Get caught up in a hobby
Regardless of stress levels, having a hobby can make life more fun and less routine. Hobbies often require some amount of concentration and takes attention away from you having to deal with the problems you’re facing, at least temporarily. It is for this reason that hobbies can be so effective in helping to ease any stress you might face. It’s a fun activity that distracts you from your problems so you aren’t focussed on them all your waking hours.
Some hobbies include:
- video games
- arts & craft
Do something else for a while
When you’re stressed, it can feel like those concerns are priority, but they don’t always have to be. It’s not healthy to overly focus on the subject of your stress. Put it down, and go do something else for a while. Give your problems and yourself some time to rest and focus on another task or activity. It can be a hobby or it can be another task altogether. Often, allowing yourself to make some progress in other tasks can give you a psychological and emotional boost, and might give you some time to properly consider how you can best solve your problems later.
Stress is key for survival, but too much stress can be harmful; but it can also be good for you. How you handle it matters. It can make things worse or better. You may not be able to control the types of stress you face, but you can control your reactions to them. Learning how to properly deal with stress can benefit your mental and emotional state, and may help to improve your happiness and outlook on life as well.
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