Why do we need some stress in our lives? We need stress in our lives to get things done and to keep us safe. With too little stress, we get bored. With too much stress, we have anxiety and porer health.
If you went to your vacation happy place and stayed, what would happen? I can imagine your minds going into overdrive with all of the thoughts, smiles, and dreams. Come back to reality and let’s think this through.
July 27, 2022
Vacation Time and Break Time
We all enjoy a break. We all enjoy getting away. Decompression time, rest time, fun time, and alone time are all necessary for us. That one or two weeks at a time for us not to worry or deal with the day-to-day issues is awesome. I know that I think about staying on vacation forever. If I did what could happen? I could lose my job. I couldn’t afford to live year-round at the same spot where I vacation. Well, hell. What would I do in three or four months? Be bored because I didn’t have anything to do? Probably. Everybody else has to work and I don’t have anyone to play with. I am pretty good by myself, but I do want people around sometimes.
If I lived there full-time, it wouldn’t be special anymore. It would eventually, be the same old same old. A bored Pat, is not a good Pat. What about you?
We need some good stress. It motivates us to do something. Use your stress for good. Think about athletes. They have goals, training, and resting. They are pushing their bodies to do more than what is normal. Bigger, better, stronger, and faster are their goals.
Good stress vs bad stress. Yes, there is such a thing. Good stress is usually short-term, excites you and motivates you. You feel excited and your heart rate increases, but there is no fear or threat. Even with acute stress the body needs time to get rid of all the cortisol & other hormones to calm down. If your body does not have some down time to deal with the acute stress, it becomes as bad as bad stress.
- It feels doable.
- We know the stress is only temporary.
When good stress becomes bad:
- It feels like all the time and you see no end in sight.
- You can’t control it.
- It takes up all of your time.
- You don’t see the long-term benefit.
- It comes into direct conflict with one of your life values or priorities.
Bad Stress Will Wear You Out
Bad stress or distress wears you out. You do feel fear. You do feel like a threat is near. You may feel confused. You cannot concentrate very well. Some anxiety pops up. Bad stress can be short-term, but it can also be long-term. The long-term or chronic type of stress is the one that leads to negative health consequences.
- It no longer feels doable.
- The stress is not temporary.
Could your stress be harmful?
You make mistakes on things that are routine for you.
You are spending a lot of time & energy on little things.
You feel stuck or paralyzed.
You don’t ask for help and you begin to isolate yourself
You are not eating well.
You are not working out or exercising.
You are not sleeping very well.
Is it possible to turn bad stress into something good?
- Look for the potential benefits or positives in the situation.
- Recognize and use your strengths to their full potential.
- Identify the resources that you have at hand.
- Collaborate with others.
- Learn something new.
- Have a positive perspective.
- Sometimes, you just have to be positive.
When things feel out of control or awful, do what is best for your own mind and body. When you do these types of things, you allow your brain and mind to destress so that you can handle the issues better.
- Good and restful sleep.
- Eat for nutritional health.
- Do something physical.
- Meet with your social support system.
- Quiet your inner critic.
Athletes often redirect stress into anticipation, excitement, and motivation, rather than allowing themselves to get into anxiety and fear of the situations. We can do this in our everyday lives, too. The sweet spot is where you are using the stress for good. You will never get rid of all stress nor should you. You can lessen it and you can navigate it!