Stress is a part of life. Everyone gets it. Either small things or big things can cause it. Whatever the cause of stress, it maintains a presence in our lives. There are actually three types of stress.
1) Positive Stress: This stress is like running late for work, being in an unfamiliar environment, losing your cell phone, etc. These are all simple examples of common stressors. These things impact us temporarily and we generally do not need coping skills to address these concerns.
2) Tolerable Stress: This stress is like when your grandmother passes away. These stressors have a significant impact on us and take more time to resolve. We tend to have a strong emotional reaction to this type of stress. We will feel things like fear, anxiousness and sadness during the state.
Over time, these feelings and the accompanying stress tend to decline in strength. They can spike from time to time with reminders and cues of the stressor. However, these responses are logical given the nature of the stressor.
3) Toxic Stress: This stress occurs when someone experiences traumatic events like domestic violence, sexual assault, and war. Toxic stress does cause thinking and emotional impairments. It causes an individual to place safety as a core priority in life.
This type of stress is often best addressed with therapeutic interventions that directly target the traumatic event that the individual has experienced.
Stress cannot be avoided. It is going to happen. However, believe it or not, stress can be managed. How an individual responds to stress is important. Here are three stress management strategies that an individual can implement today to improve their life:
1) Find a place where you can talk about your problems and a person with whom you are comfortable talking. Many people keep their problems to themselves. They hold on to their stress, and this internalized pressure impacts one’s physical and mental state.
Getting out those thoughts and emotions is important. Through journaling, writing a blog, speaking to a friend or counseling professional or spiritual leader are all good outlets for individuals to process their stress.
2) Prioritize your responsibilities and basic needs. When stressed out, your daily tasks can be missed or not completed in the best manner. This in turn can lead to additional stress for an individual. Make sure to manage your responsibilities effectively even during times of high stress. You do not want to lose focus on your basic needs.
3) Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Many stressors come from individuals being stretched in too many directions. A healthy balance between time and available energy is important.
Individuals often feel like they do not have enough time or enough energy to do the things they want to do. Sometimes we have too many baskets; reducing where you place your time and energy could provide you with more relief.
Stress management is a key skill to have in life. If you are someone who wants to have better life outcomes, peace and healing, stress management is an important to skill to develop. Being able to talk about your problems, handling your basic needs, maintaining your responsibilities, balancing your time and energy — all these are great strategies to give you more control and help you maintain an optimal life.