“It is not stress that kills us; it is our reaction to it.” That quote is credited to Hans Selye, a pioneer in researching the effect of stress on the body. Stress is not inherently bad; in fact, some stress can even be good for you. How much a stressful situation or event affects your health depends on the stressor itself and your ability to respond to it.
So, how susceptible are you to the effects of stress?
Daily and Chronic Stress
Stresses that involve your daily life, such as a troubled marriage or difficult job, are more likely to cause severe distress. These stresses could also be chronic issues, such as an autoimmune disorder or depression.
Intense Crises and Trauma
A sudden and intense traumatic event, like being involved in a car accident or the sudden loss of a loved one, can be overwhelming and highly stressful. Without immediate intervention and treatment, like counseling or rehabilitation, this type of stress can be debilitating.
Are you a stress collector? Stress is a problem that compounds. The more daily stresses and life changes you’re dealing with, the more intense the symptoms of stress can become. An accumulation of stressful events/habits with no resolution can lead to a weakened stress response, and even adrenal fatigue.
Your Stress Perception
How do you react to unavoidable daily stresses? Do you blow a little steam, take deep breaths and deal with it, or does it set you back for the whole day or even week? One of the most effective ways to lessen the stressful effects of an unavoidable, difficult situation is to reframe or refocus your perception of the situation. Do you get easily overwhelmed by unavoidable stress? Work on some daily stress management techniques, like making problem-solution lists and taking mental relaxation breaks.
Your Preparation and Knowledge
Heavy stress can make it difficult to concentrate, but the more you know about a stressful situation, the better prepared you’ll be to face it. Say you or a loved one has an upcoming medical procedure. Knowing the risks, what to expect afterward, and making preparations beforehand can go a long way in minimizing the effects of stress once it actually happens.
Your Tolerance for Stress
With stress, you have to be the duck; you’ve got to let it roll off your back. The more confidence you have in yourself and your ability to stand up to and overcome stress, the better. (Even if you have to ‘fake it until you make it.’)
Your Support Network
Communication allows a person to see their worries and concerns in a different light. You may notice that by talking about your worries and problems with somebody you trust you will often begin to see a clear path. When you’re under a lot of stress you may feel like withdrawing and isolating yourself from others, which actually makes things worse. You may be surprised by how quickly a big scary stress can deflate and become not so scary once it’s put into perspective by a friend or loved one.
About the Author
Eric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 25 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specialises in candida yeast infections, as well as adrenal fatigue, and thyroid disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher. Website: candidacrusher.com You can complete his online survey to determine if you have a yeast infection here, or link through to his many You Tube videos: www.yeastinfection.org Dr. Bakker’s Blog: www.ericbakker.com