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How to overcome stress

Posted By Marcus Phillips     March 29, 2022    

Stress can be understood as the body's negative reaction to a situation that is perceived as threatening. In any given situation, our mind assesses what demands are present in that situation and what personal resources we have to manage the demands.

If the result of these assessments is positive, i.e., we perceive that our resources are sufficient to meet the demands, we will not suffer from stress. On the other hand, if we perceive that our resources are not sufficient to meet the demands of the situation, then stress will appear with all that this entails. Some stress can surely be dodged like getting a positive grade for an essay by using a discount, but some are not. This article will teach you how to fight stress.

Stages of stress.

When we are faced with a stressful situation, our body goes through a series of stages to cope with it and emerge victorious from the situation:

The first phase is known as the "alarm phase."

Faced with the perception of a possible stressful situation, our body begins to develop a series of physiological (increased blood pressure, accelerated breathing) and psychological (anxiety, restlessness, nervousness) alterations that predispose it to face the situation that we perceive as stressful. Different factors influence the appearance of these symptoms.

On the one hand, factors that depend on the physical nature of the stressor, for example, the level of noise, ambient temperature, or the time available to perform a task.

According to wowessays, other factors depend on the person experiencing the stress. These factors include the perception of threat, e.g., whether they anticipate failure and the degree of control they perceive over the situation, i.e., whether they perceive that they have the ability to control the stressful situation or not.

Once this phase has been overcome, we move on to the next phase, the "resistance phase."

This is the phase of adaptation to stressful situations. In this phase, the organism develops a series of physiological, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes to rebalance the stressful situation so that the impact of the stressor or its consequences is the least possible.

If this adaptation occurs, the organism returns to a state of equilibrium.

If we fail in this second phase because we have not put in place the necessary coping skills to manage the stressful situation, we enter the next phase.

This third phase is the "burnout" phase.

In this phase, the symptoms of chronic stress appear, presenting themselves on a somatic, cognitive, and emotional level.

Everyday stressors.

Stress is part of our life. In our daily lives, we have to face daily stressors of greater or lesser intensity, chronic or acute.

They are so commonplace that we are not even aware of the level of stress they generate. But just because we are not aware of them does not mean that they do not affect us and gradually increase our stress level.

Among everyday stressors, the most frequent are:

  • Situations that involve cognitive overexertion.
  • Environmental stimuli.
  • Perceptions of threat.
  • Alteration of physiological functions (illnesses, addictions, etc.).
  • Isolation and confinement.
  • Blockages in our interests.
  • Group pressure.
  • Frustration: failure to achieve planned goals.

Symptoms of stress:

Stress is a general reaction of the organism involving changes at the physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral levels.

  • Physiological level: Headaches and muscle tension, usually in the neck and back. Digestive system problems: heavy digestions, irritable bowel, stomach aches, and heartburn. High blood pressure can lead to coronary disorders. Physical fatigue. Skin diseases: outbreaks of psoriasis, dermatitis.
  • Cognitive level: decreased concentration and memory, difficulty in decision making. Mental fatigue. Mental dullness. Insomnia.
  • Emotional level: anguish, nervousness, mood disorders, and irritability.
  • Behavioral level: appetite disorders, impulsive behavior, acceleration, mental blocks, and aggressiveness.

Coping with stress.

Each and every one of us struggles in some way with the stress that arises in our lives. How we cope with stress is what we call stress coping.

While it is true that we all have our own way of coping with stress, not all people are victorious in this struggle. This may be because we do not know exactly what the sources of stress are, we have not developed the necessary coping strategies, or even if we have developed them, we do not know how to implement them correctly.

We can establish a hierarchy of coping with the different levels of coping that each of us puts in place when dealing with stress.

Coping Style.

These are the general and habitual ways of coping with stress. There are two types of coping styles:

  • Reactive Style: This is an impulsive style. The person reacts instinctively to stress, quickly and emotionally.
  • Proactive style: This is a preventive style. The person prepares for the stressful situation. They plan their strategy to cope with it.

Coping Resources.

These are the set of physical, psychological, personal, and social advantages that the person has and from which the adaptive strategies of stress management are born.

Self-esteem, social support, economic security, physical health, social skills are adaptive resources for stress management.

Coping Strategies.

These are the overt plans and actions we put to cope with stress. Within these strategies, we find palliative and preventive strategies.

  • Preventive Strategies: Strategies aimed at preventing the stressful event from happening.
  • Palliative strategies: These are strategies that we use to minimize the impact of the stressor.

People who cope most effectively with stress are those who have developed resources in all three layers of coping.

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How to overcome stress

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