Stress symptoms always mean feeling harried, hurried, and strung out. Right? Not always. There is such a thing as good stress.
In Dr. Pratima Raichur’s book, Absolute Beauty, she defines the Western view of stress symptoms as any “physical, chemical, or emotional factor” that overloads the homeostatic system (the body’s self regulatory capacities). This overload causes imbalance, which we know leads to premature aging, physical ailments, emotional upset, and even disease.
Things that cause this kind of stress symptoms in our bodies are sensory overload, poor diet and exercise habits, inadequate sleep, consuming too much processed foods, caffeine and alcohol, drugs and cigarettes (obvs), over thinking, environmental pollutants, and synthetic ingredients. As you can see, it pays to eat a healthy diet, get proper rest and exercise, and stay away from harmful ingredients.
But here’s what we don’t often consider. Stress is not always a bad thing. There is something called eustress, which is good stress. This good stress gives us that boost before jumping out of an airplane or giving a speech. It’s when those stress symptoms get out of control that we feel negative effects.
Even what we think of as bad stress has a purpose. It induces our flight or fight response, essential to survival back in the early days. These days we still use it from time to time, but allowed to go unchecked these stress symptoms result in a constant feeling of pressure and anxiety.
How stressed out we allow ourselves to get varies from person to person. Two people stuck in traffic can have very different views on how bad the situation is. One may feel it is a minor inconvenience while the other sees it as ruining their day. It is truly all about perception.
So how do we use our good stress and manage negative stress symptoms? Deepak Chopra has said that “wherever a thought goes, a chemical goes with it.” Your thoughts can send a happy message that makes you feel good, or a bad one that lowers your immunity and messes up your hormones. Stay away from the triggers listed above and incorporate some healthy stress busters into your life. Sounds like the perfect New Year’s resolution.
[Image of stressed woman via Shutterstock.com]