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The Two-Sided Coin “Stress”

Stress is usually used as a synonym to the word “change”. In fact, stress follows us for the whole life starting from the birth. That is one of those remarkable things that distinguish between a human being and other creatures over the globe. There is a thought that stress was very helpful in human evolution. True or not, the fact is that stress is one of the essential parts of our life.

Messed up with the job? Girl-friend moves to Hollywood to make a celebrity career? Kids come closer to their puberty? Car won’t go when you are late for a very important appointment? All this can lead to stress.

Stress can be caused by both positive and negative factors. How come, might ask you. As simple as that: if stress is a change then it can be either bad or good, regardless of the result. On this level, stress can be both harmful and harmless as it can both bring further destruction (sometimes leading to depression and suchlike) and new exciting perspective.

Usually stress factors are divided into basic groups like ‘positive’- ‘negative’, ‘external’-‘internal’ etc. External factors include environment (temperature, pollution etc), other people (expectations, attitude etc), work issues (shifts, deadlines, overtime etc) and other life events (birth/death of beloved people, marriage/divorce, moving to another apartment etc).

Internal stress factors comprise stress related to the lifestyle (smoking, drugs, not enough sleep etc), personality (some people are cynical, perfectionists, workaholic) and mental state (pessimistic, dreamer, self-critical etc).

Other than that, stress factors can be related to positive and negative life events. When someone dies, we usually cry, and when someone is born we usually laugh, but these two mental states are quite similar. The difference is that stress caught from both events can lead to quite opposite things. The latter will encourage you for new perspectives, while the former can push you into the deepest depression ever.

Negative events that contribute to stress are changes in personal life, like death or illness of a loved one, job issues, time management and deadlines, social and financial problems, lack of social support, failed expectations, emotional changes, negative environmental and hormonal factors, illness etc. ‘Bad’ stress can result in rejection, anger, depression, distrust with the consequent health and mental problems like headache, upset stomach, insomnia, high blood pressure heart disease and even stroke.

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So, what are those positive events that are stressful? Job promotion can be a nice example of a good stress. You get stress when the promotion comes all of a sudden. And you get even more stressful if you already had a clue about this, thus making yourself stressful long before the actual ‘blow-up’. Changes for better in personal life are also stressful. When you get new relations, fall in love or get married, you can end up really screwed up, because this ‘nice’ stress will probably blow your mind even more than any bad thing.

Actually, even going on vacations is a certain stress. A good one of course. So, if someone out there is going on vacations, have a good stress… err, I mean fun on vacations!

Rachel


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