The Top 5 Reasons You Should Understand How Stress Impacts Wellness & Success
If you want to find happiness and maximize human productivity, then it behooves you to learn as much as you can about stress. Stress is fascinating to talk about, mainly because it isn’t something we can directly observe, or even measure. People regularly talk about being “stressed out,” yet there are few consistencies when examining how people self-define their unique experiences with stress. Practically speaking, those who successfully deal with stress live longer, healthier, and happier, while those who don’t cope with stress well tend to struggle with many facets of their lives.
The top 5 reasons you need to know as much as you can about stress
- Stress is inevitable. No matter who you are or what you do for a living, you will experience stress. Even when life is going well, you never know what the next day will bring — including unfortunate news. “Stress,” while difficult to define, might be best understood as the relationship we have with the tasks we face in life, including how we respond. Some of us find a morning alarm clock stressful, while others only become stressed out in the face of big life news and events. It is for these reasons that we not try and avoid stress, but instead learn how to successfully deal with stress.
- Stress is driven by perception. The old saying one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure is very true when talking about life stressors. Where one person sees a challenge, another person sees a threat, and these differences in human perception have immediate and dramatic consequences. When we train ourselves to see silver linings, opportunities, and challenges in the face of difficult situations, only then do we begin to re-frame stress in healthy and positive ways so that we have a greater chance for happiness and success.
- Stress comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s important to distinguish between the types of stress we experience in life. For example, some stress is minor in nature, and quick to pass by (acute stress). Traffic jams, headaches, and rainy weather are life events that we shouldn’t allow to drag us down in the same ways as bigger, more intense life events (chronic stress) like serious injuries, unemployment, or ongoing family problems.
- Good and bad stress. Did you know that while it’s easy to identify bad stress, even good things in life can cause us stress? Psychologists identify eustress as good stress, and you might think about examples of eustress to include starting a new and exciting relationship, coming in to unexpected money, or even preparing for the holidays.
- Healthy and effective coping is key. Coping with stress is, in the most basic sense, anything you do to take your mind off of what’s causing you stress. Coping may be effective on one level, but unhealthy on another. One example is using alcohol or other drugs to cope with stress — ironically, these are effective means as most inebriated people don’t think about their stress, but clearly these are not healthy ways to deal with stress.
Managing stress is vitally important as it applies to happiness, health, and peak productivity. With that said, “stress” is not always understood, and people appraise and respond to stress in unique, individual ways. Pay attention to how you size up stressors in life, as well as the means in which you cope with stress so that your actions lead to healthy and productive future outcomes.