Stress is a more common phenomenon than we think. All of us at some point in our lives have felt stress and although they recommend different strategies to manage it, they have not been useful to us
Since there are different types of stress and therefore different ways of managing it. Therefore, it is necessary to differentiate and know the types of stress, to identify how we must handle it according to its classification. A state of permanent excitement in our nervous system ends up deteriorating our emotional and psychological health, necessarily affecting our physical health. Therefore, it is important to learn to identify the causes to manage our emotions.
Difference Between Eutress and Distress
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines stress as "the set of physiological reactions that prepares the body for action." Therefore, it is favorable in moments of survival to react since it allows us to overcome an obstacle or adequately face danger. This is a punctual stress that allows a situation to be resolved in a concrete way to emerge victorious from it. This is psychologically called eutress and is a type of positive stress. It is occasional, punctual of short duration. It causes changes, accelerates the heart, heart rate, mental speed, and alertness, allows competitiveness and fighting for the goal, generates healthy ambition, and muscles to receive more fuel for immediate action. It allows us to perform under pressure and focus to achieve our objectives.
Benefits of eutress: it causes speed, strengthens muscles, sharpens thinking, and helps fight infections because it generates the production of certain substances such as adrenaline and noradrenaline that provide vitality and energy. Neuropeptides are activated, which are analgesics that calm negative stress ,and the generation of serotonin gives us confidence and allows us to face challenges.
On the contrary, it becomes negative stress or distress when the body is kept in a state of permanent alert, which raises your cortisol levels that do not allow your body and mind to rest, altering behavior, emotions, and health, preventing that can cope with situations or feel overwhelmed by them.
Effects of distress: high cortisol has serious psychological and emotional effects that can trigger anxiety disorders, and panic attacks, generated by fear, frustration, and anger, which cause an inability to face situations.
Symptoms to identify distress:
- Symptoms of a psychological type: changes in behavior that lead to the development of addictions, irresponsibility, compulsiveness, and social isolation. The person presents a lack of concentration, irritability, difficulty acting, fear, anger, frustration, hopelessness, and lack of memory, among others, which can trigger depression.
- Physical symptoms: shortness of breath, nausea, low immune system, hypertension, tremors, general exhaustion, headache, insomnia, decreased livid, skin changes, digestive problems, obesity, etc.
- Faced with this type of situation, we must establish a balance in our lives, establish priorities, seek solutions, take care of one thing at a time without postponing, organize our physical space, and seek help and support if we feel overwhelmed.
TYPES OF STRESS AND COPING STRATEGIES
There are different ways to relieve stress and this depends on each person according to their coping capacity and the knowledge they have of themselves and the situation. Carefully observing our behavior and situations helps us to identify the type of stress and manage it:
- Situational Stress: it occurs when faced with a situation in which we feel that we are losing control, it is sudden and acute and to face it we must take a deep breath, assess the situation, and propose solutions.
- Time stress: when we worry repeatedly about not having enough time to do everything we have to do. To manage this you must prioritize tasks and plan their execution.
- Meeting stress: when you're worried about meeting one or more people, either because you don't get along or because you interact too much and that exhausts you. To handle the situation, develop your emotional and affective intelligence.
- Emotional stress: it generates anguish or anxiety mainly in conflictive relationships. To counteract this, it is important to develop resilience, and emotional intelligence, work on conscious breathing and practice meditation and relaxation techniques.
- Anticipatory stress: it is a type of acute stress in which fear of the future is manifested. To counteract it, positive visualization techniques of the situation and meditation are applied.
- Acute stress: it is presented by a specific and momentarily difficult episode, which is resolved quickly. The strategy to use is breathing and micro meditation.
- Episodic acute stress: when you live under pressure and tension, from assuming too many responsibilities. To counteract it, it is recommended to rethink habits and redistribute functions and tasks in the environment, through a long-term therapeutic approach.
- Chronic stress: continuous stress occurs when the body does not have time to recover from a state of high reaction. Cortisol levels remain high and there is physical and mental exhaustion. Breathing and meditation techniques and conflict resolution techniques, emotion management, change of life habits are used.
In conclusion, life can be more or less stressful depending on the way we decide to see and deal with situations and what we decide to do with what happens to us.