Stress is a bad thing altogether, right?. WRONG! Did you know that there is good stress as well as bad stress? And that you can and should use stress to relieve stress. In fact, if you didn’t have the kind of stress that experts term as “good stress,” you’d feel unhappy – a lot! That is why it is important that you identify the difference between the good stress and bad stress in order to maintain good health. So how can stress become a necessary component of maintaining good health?
Why Stress is Good
Stress is something that alters the homeostasis in your body, the intricate and delicate bio-chemical balance your body maintains to keep you alive. Good stress,also referred to as eustress, is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, good stress can turn into bad stress and the other way around, the difference being your own perception of the stress being experienced. Eustress is what most of us feel when we are excited. This type of stress is felt when we ride a roller coaster, on a first date, or when we receive a promotion. The pulse quickens and the hormones change, but there is no fear or threat under such circumstances. Good stress keeps us feeling excited about life and alive most of the time. The good news is, how you react to stress is a decision that you make, consciously or otherwise – it is under your control.
There is another type of stress called acute stress, or acute stress reaction. Acute stress reaction is caused by a traumatic event and produces an intense response in the body. Unlike “good” stress, this kind of stress causes one’s body to be flooded with “fight or flight” hormones and, sometimes has a delayed reaction known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD . If you can find a quick way to relax, acute stress will not take a heavy toll on your mind-body system. Once the stressors have been dealt with, the body will return to homeostasis.
Why Stress Can Kill You
Chronic stress is the type of stress caused by prolonged exposure to emotional or environmental pressure and it can negatively affect your health and well-being over time. If not corrected, this kind of stress will take a heavy toll on your mind-body system. An unhappy home or a stressful job are examples of sources of chronic stress. In fact, the human body is not designed to handle stress over an extended period of time. Chronic stress is directly linked to all kinds of diseases ranging from depression to high blood pressure to obesity, and many more. Hence, the body-mind system will deteriorate if you don’t find a way to deal with chronic stress.
Use Stress to BEAT Stress!
So here’s the good news – It’s not the stress that kills you (usually) it’s how you react to stress that determines the outcome. And how you react to stress is largely under your control. Your response to a negative situation, a setback, or a disappointment is a decision that you make. In fact, if you relinquish your power to decide how you respond to situations, you lose control of your life. Let me repeat that – if you let go your power to decide how you react to situations, you lose control over the one thing that you can have control over – your mind, your thoughts, your LIFE!
This is where a good exercise regimen comes in. EXERCISING is, paradoxically, a wonderful source of “good” stress, and a great stress reliever. You know what I’m talking about. Think about how you feel after a good walk or run. Or how you feel after an intense 30 minutes of exercise. You FEEL GREAT! That’s your body responding to stress – the good kind. Now that you’re informed, strive to get more of the good stress into your life.
Women Are More Susceptible Than Men
Women report more stress related health issues than men. As I said before, exercise is a great stress buster. However, the ABSOLUTE best exercise (in my opinion), the king/queen of stress elimination workouts is yoga! Whether you are a man or a woman, you should want to get in the best shape of your life, not because you will look good (which you will), or because you will feel great (which you will), but because IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE! Of course, you don’t have to choose yoga. There’s more than one way to “skin this cat”. But if you want to start on a PROVEN path, without you having to re-invent the proverbial wheel, then get into a workout regimen or one of the programs advertised in this web site. Either way, it is important to cut down on activities that can drain your energy and lead to chronic stress. Instead, cultivate more habits that will bring in good stress into your life. WORK OUT! WALK! DO SOMETHING! This type of beneficial stress is an important component to maintaining good health and well-being over time.