People most often inquire as to the effects of stress, but the opening question really needs to be – what is stress?
Stress is made up of the things, people, places, and activities which cause us to feel stretched and overwhelmed. Stress makes us feel anxious, frazzled, out of sorts, out of control, nervous, uncomfortable, frustrated and angry. Stress affects every individual differently. What is stressful to one individual is often not to another, and the list of emotions caused by stress is endless.
Dr. Deb Carlin has been studying stress, the effects and symptoms of stress, and techniques to manage it effectively for decades. Physical and emotional stresses are often kept in separate categories but we believe that they are nearly always tied together. Our experience of everything physically is closely related and intricately integrated into our emotional experience of it. The core issue here is that the associations we make between a physical sort of experience and our mental interpretation lead to a strong connection. The trick, when it comes to understanding stress, is to recognize how it is both a matter of how it is presented to us and then also is a matter of how we allow our mind to perceive it and re-interpret it.
We all crave positive well-being but when the stress of our world takes hold of our thoughts, we often sink into thinking there is no hope. We are here to let you know that there is hope and you can overcome the stressful situations you face on a daily basis. Managing stress is a matter of learning to control your mind. Relaxation exercises are one effective way to manage everyday stressors – one very powerful way. Click here to go to a Relaxation Exercise right now.
For additional information on stress management, contact Partners In Excellence LLC today.
Understanding what stress is
In its most basic form, stress is the result of something being imposed upon – that something, when it is a person, can experience the impingement as being either physical or emotional, and sometimes both. Impingement is, of course, some form of a pinch or an intrusion or an unwelcome something. When it is physical, it is anything from extreme temperatures to whatever causes physical pain or discomfort. When it is emotional, the same is true but in a very different sense.
What follows is a definition from Encarta Dictionary:
- Interfere: to affect the limits of something, especially a right or law, often causing some kind of restriction – eg. Members claimed that canceling the ballot impinged on their voting rights.
- Strike: to strike or hit something – eg. A loud noise can impinge on the eardrum, causing temporary hearing damage.
To some people, loud music is very stressful because of the manner in which it hits their ear and they find there is no way to escape the attack of sound. That form of strike is stressful to the body. There are, of course, people who hear that same loudness and sit in it with apparent enjoyment.
Are you curious about the difference?
Let’s take another example and look a bit more closely.
For some, the physical temperature of 65 degrees feels perfect and to others, it is too cool. The same can be said of temperatures in the 90s or the teens. Our experience of the physical temperature depends upon our attire, the exact situation, our state of physical health and our mental well-being.
With respect to emotional impingement, it is experienced when something happens that meets with our disapproval at some level – it can be like the example of the ballots being canceled, an event that would leave members feeling unvalued and without a mechanism for being productively expressive. It is easy to imagine that kind of experience would promote frustration. Frustration is stressful, no one enjoys it.
Physical and emotional stresses are often kept in separate categories but in my work, as well as in my personal life, I have made special note that they are nearly always tied together. Our experience of everything physically is closely related and is intricately integrated into our emotional experience of it. For example, I’m from Chicago and I have a lifetime of happy memories of playing in the ice and snow and loving every moment of it – I was with friends and family that I enjoyed. For me, the blustery winter means fun and laughter and with the time out in the cold being followed with just as much fun when it is time to head indoors for seats around a fireplace and sipping on hot chocolate and snuggling with loved ones. I pair the experience of cold with the experience of the warmth that follows and it all becomes pleasant, not stressful. I also associate it with being bundled up in warm wool socks that were hand knitted by my mother as were my scarves and hats and mittens. I also had leggings and tights and sweaters and snow suits that kept me bundled and protected from the wet and cold.
However, for someone who grew up with a shortage of heat in the house and only light clothing to wear and perhaps not enough warm food, the cold will elicit memories quite different from mine – cold for them will most likely mean deprivation and therefore feel very frustrating and stressful.
The core issue here is that the associations we make between a physical sort of experience and our mental interpretation lead to a strong connection. The trick, when it comes to understanding stress, is to recognize how it is both a matter of how it is presented to us and then also is a matter of how we allow our mind to perceive it and re-interpret it.
To learn more about managing stress contact Partners In Excellence LLC.