Excessive stress is one of the most common issues that people have in the 21st century. Everyone feels “stressed” today and one of the reasons for this is that we are living fast-paced lives where everyone feels a lot of pressure at work, school, and social pressure as well. These are just some of the things and there are many other life events that can cause a lot of stress.
Even though a lot of people use the word stress and think that they are affected by it, not many people understand what stress actually is. This creates a problem because it’s crucial to know something and understand it so that you can get rid of it.
This article will help you gain more knowledge about stress and have a better understanding of the issue so that you can begin your path towards being stress-free.
Experts define stress differently
Even people who are experts in fields which deal with stress have difficulty defining it and choosing the best definition. This means that people who don’t work in any stress-related field have an even tougher time figuring out the whole thing and it can get really confusing for them.
Everyone has a personal definition of their stress issues and it goes along with their thinking. However, this isn’t good enough for experts and they all have their own definitions that were created through the perspective of their respective fields.
- The first definition of stress came from the term distress that was used in the 14th century and it represented physical hardships such as torture, pain, or dehydration.
- The current most popular definition of stress is that it’s a form of perception and that imposed demands on people cause stress.
- One of the best definitions of stress was established in 1990 and it says that stress is a form of overload or underload of information or energy within any living system.
Stress can lead to serious problems, but not necessarily
Fundamentally, stress is a negative force that strains us in some way. The way this force is received and reacted to makes a crucial difference in whether or not it will cause more serious problems. For example, if you are stressed about your incoming job interview, you can turn that negative force into a positive one by working more on preparing yourself for the interview.
However, certain stressful situations are simply out of our hands and the negativity cannot be countered – the death of a dear person. Still, the type of stress that most commonly leads to other problems is chronic stress – stress that affects you for a long time. Stress is basically an animalistic reaction we inherited from our ancestors and the mechanism is designed to help us survive.
However, today it’s not that useful and it might create further issues if we’re exposed to it constantly. This is why people need to learn how to deal with issues that are causing them stress and train themselves mentally to remain calm when certain things are out of their hands.
Certain stressful events are more powerful than others
However, it’s not only about what kind of stressful events are affecting you, but it‘s also about how severe they are. Simply put, not all stressful events create the same amount of problems and some are potentially more devastating than others, while some can be forgotten in just a couple of days.
For example, the death of your child and the death of your spouse are considered to be some of the most stressful events in life that you can go through. These events usually change the lives of people who live through them and these people need professional counseling and the support of their families to overcome them.
At the same time, they are the most lethal stress events that could lead to other health issues. Moving to a new job is not that severe and rather than blaming the experience on stress, people need to take matters into their own hands and make the best possible impression.
It doesn’t affect men and women the same
What’s interesting about stress is that unlike other psychological issues, it affects men and women differently. There is research that proves this scientifically and men and women have both reported different issues and reactions. It affects them differently both on a physical and mental level.
They also try and manage it differently and have different perceptions of their abilities to battle it:
- Men are less willing to seek help from their close friends and family members, as well as from professionals.
- Women will more openly admit that they are feeling stressed.
- Men will more often blame stress on their jobs.
- Women will more often blame the stress on the economy and money overall.
It boils down to your will to fight it
One of the essentials for overcoming stress is your willpower. The more you have it, the easier it will be for you to deal with events and issues that have caused you stress. However, the problem is that one of the biggest consequence of stress is the loss of willpower and this is where it gets tricky.
Rather than allowing various situations to cause you stress and get sucked into it, you need to remove the negative biases and try to be more realistic. For example, if you have a job interview that is very important to you, make sure to remember the previous interviews, break them down, see what you excepted from them and what actually happened, and try to break down the reasons why you are stressed about the interview.
All these things will help you calm yourself down and at least stop obsessing about things that are out of your control. Stress is an impulse and you need to calm it down with facts and logic before you start clinging to negative things.
We hope this article has helped you understand stress better and helps you deal with it better in the future. Remember to try and deal with stress and not simply accept living with it or you might cause a spiral of other larger issues.