Friday 18 May 2007

Stress & Distress

Stress Management

When people talk about stress, they generally apply a negative meaning to the word. In addition, most of us are conditioned to thinking negative thoughts when we hear the word stress. However, there is a subtle but important distinction between stress and distress, which is what we usually mean in this context.

Stress can be a positive thing. In a physiological sense, it allows the flow of adrenaline, and prepares our 'fight or flight' response to allow us escape or face dangerous or scary situations. At a lower level, it is what makes us nervous in terms of anxiety, such as in advance of exams, or interviews for example. This can be positive, as in these situations - if we acknowledge, harness and channel this stress - we can actualy perform better. It can be enhancement to performance, and not an inhibitor. But we have to manage it appropriately.

However for too many people this is not the case. The stress - or more properly distress - they experience actually envelopes them, and causes a deterioration in performance. They freeze in the face of anxiety and the consequences are almost always negative.

One of the ways to manage stress is to think about it differently, and to move those things which cause you stress in your life into a separate space. Compartmentalise it, look at it from a distance, as if in a bubble. Is the situation and the stress managing you, or are you in control of it? We cannot control every situation, but we can control how we respond to them. That is our power.

We can all learn to recognise the signs of stress in ourselves, how they manifest themselves, and how we can manage them effeciently. Why not contact us at and see how we can assist you with simple, effective solutions you can apply daily, to make your life - and the lives of those around you - better.

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