Stress – The Force Is With You!

September 28, 2009

What is stress? I’m glad you asked!

According to dictionary.com , stress is:

“A specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.”  

or “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension”

Of all the definitions listed, I think this one sums it up best: 

Stress is “the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain.”

This definition probably refers more to stress on tangible items, like crowbars against automobile rims, but I believe it also applies to the way stress feels to us.  If you’ve ever experienced stress (and if you’re old enough to read this, it’s safe to say you have) you’ll definitely identify with that feeling of  “force” being exerted on you by something, or someone in your life. 

Stress comes in different forms and as humans, we’ve developed many individual methods of dealing with it.  Some of us more successfully than others.  If you happen to fall into the “less successful” group, take heart!  You can learn to identify and conquer the stress in your life and even put it to work for you!

In order to understand effective methods of dealing with it, it’s helpful first, to identify the different types of stress one might encounter.

Consider these categories:

Shoo Fly!

This is “everyday” stress.   Everyone experiences it.  It’s the stress you feel when you’re late for an appointment because you got stuck in traffic.   It’s the familiar feeling of having too much to do and too little time in which to get it done. It can start in the morning when your feet hit the floor and last until you turn off the light that night. It’s that force that constantly presses on you during the day from all kinds of people and circumstances.  Like a fly that keeps circling you at dinner, “Shoo-fly” stress consists of all the minor annoyances that plague us on a daily basis.

Cute Kitten:

This stress is actually good in nature, yet it requires something out of the ordinary from you, therefore force comes into the picture.  It might be a much desired move to a new house, your wedding day, or a brand new baby in your family.  We look forward to these happy occasions, but they all require action from us above and beyond our normal routine and are therefore stressful. 

Little Foxes:

This type of stress is a bit more serious and tends to require more of our attention.  It’s the kind of stress that happens when your plans are upset by an unexpected event that suddenly takes priority.  Your child gets sick at school and has to be picked up, despite the fact you’ve got three appointments scheduled that afternoon.  If you cancel your appointments, it could have long term effects on your business.  Or say, you get caught speeding and have to explain to the nice officer exactly why you were going 75 m.p.h in a 60 m.p.h. zone.  The officer might invite you to visit the judge and tell him your story instead.  Whether in the form of looming deadlines or impending court dates,  this kind of stress is capable of  keeping you awake at night. 

Wolves At The Door:

This stress is relentless and you probably feel like you don’t have much control over it.   It wears on you for long periods of time, and keeps you constantly aware of its presence. Overdue bills combined with inadequate finances, as well as unhealthy long term relationships, all cause this kind of stress.  The effects of this stress carry over to other areas of your life and can leave some pretty serious damage in it’s wake.  Many consider this the worst kind of stress simply due to the nature of the beast.  It might not be any fault of yours that it’s landed on your doorstep, yet you are helpless to make it go away.

Shark Attack:

This stress is traumatic and can have a permanent negative impact.  “Shark attack” stress leaves you emotionally disabled.  Situations  like the unexpected death of a loved one,  suffering horrible abuse at someone else’s hands, or losing your home in a fire are a few examples.  While it isn’t quite as common as the other forms of stress, it isn’t something that can be ignored.  The majority of us will encounter this serious form of stress at one time or another.  Most often, victims of this stress need professional help to reach a satisfactory recovery.

So, there you have it!  Stress is “a physical pressure, pull or other  force exerted” on one thing (you!) by another (person or situation.)

Stress is inevitable.  As long as we have breath in our body, we will have stress.  The good news is this; there are many methods of minimizing the negative effects of stress.

We’ll cover that next time!

God Bless!

Becky J. Taylor

CTA Certified Life Coach

http://www.boldnewday.com

Sept. 28, 2009

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