We all know that everyone of us, no matter who you
are, will experience stress. Some have a lot of
stress to deal with, while others not as much. The
one thing that is common in all of us is that we
all have a reaction to stress and they’re all
different; we’ll either react in a positive or
negative way.

Dealing with stress will not only affect you at
the time that it is happening but it will affect
you later as well. Your reaction to stress can
affect you emotionally and physically the day of,
the next days and even the day before if you are
expecting something to happen while you’re bracing
for it.

Sadly, there is no escaping it; there are varying
degrees and varying causes behind it.

I have never met a person or any group of people
that have been able to avoid stress. It’s
definitely not a one size fits all either. There’s
also different levels of stress, which will all
depend on the person that’s dealing with it.

Also the times and reasons are different for
everyone. For example, when a little child loses
their toy, it’s stressful to them; it’s like the
end of the world. You’re only thinking, wait until
this kid has to pay bills and deal with my type of
stress. To that child it’s everything.

There are four different basic types of stress
yours can fall under. They can be an encounter
stress which has to do with the relationships in
your life. This covers intimate relationships,
work relationships and even stranger or
acquaintance relationships.

You can be stressing about an encounter before the
actual encounter such as a blind date. Or perhaps
you have a meeting with your boss because he wants
to see you but you have no clue what it’s about.

I am a queen of causing my own stress. I can
“what-if” anyone under the table. I guarantee I’m
the best. A lot of times I feel it’s come in handy
because I’m prepared for just about anything but
when nothing that I imagined happens then I’m
completely exhausted from the stress.

For example, right now I work in a job that is
highly stressful. It’s not uncommon for me to have
to talk to suicidal people, drunken people, people
that are high, angry, extremely emotional, people
that have had horrible things happen to them, and
so on. My job is an emotional and stressful
rollercoaster.

There is time stress, which can occur during times
when you’re overwhelmed with all the things that
have to get done in the time that you have. You’ll
sit there and spend more time with “what-ifs” then
if you just actually got down and did the work.

Then there is my kind of time stress where I wait
until the last minute to do something because I
don’t think I can do it or get it done right and
then I panic because I only have a little bit of
time left.

I remember in high school, my term paper was due
and that was half my grade. It had to be 15 pages
long, full pages. I not only waited until the last
night, on the way home our car broke down, so I
only had a few hours to get the paper done. I did
and got an A, I know everything there is to know
about Aphrodite. I caused that to myself.

Then there is situational stress which you
basically have no control over, something that may
happen immediately. This could be things like a
car accident, your child becoming sick or perhaps
losing your job.

With situational stress it’s the situation that
causes the stress along with the emotions that go
with it. This stress can be short term stress or
long term stress.

Finally, there is anticipatory stress, which is
the kind you get because you’re anticipating what
is coming your way. If you have to do a special
project at work, or give a speech, or having to
ask for something like a loan or money from
someone.

Anticipatory stress can also be caused by
something that’s not even in the near future. For
example, the fear related to worrying about when
the other shoe is going to drop. This is where I’m
a pro at; I can “what-if” like nobody’s business.
This is where you focus on things that haven’t
happened and may not happen but you “what-if” it
to death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also three levels of stress, which are
chronic, acute, and episodic acute stress.

So chronic stress level is where you would feel
stress on a long term basis. For example, being
stuck in a job that you hate, or it could be being
in a relationship with someone that isn’t healthy
for you.

Chronic stress can also stem from some kind of
trauma, it can make you feel stuck, like there is
nothing better out there and nothing will ever
change. People with chronic stress sometimes push
down their emotions so they don’t have to think
about what they are dealing with.

There is also acute stress level, which is what we
mostly deal with. If you have to have stress,
acute is the best one to have because it comes and
goes quickly. There is still a lot of fear and
pressure but luckily it comes and goes quickly and
it doesn’t last.

Then there’s the episodic acute stress level. That
is where there’s a constant little hamster running
in a wheel of stress. It feels like your life is
on fast forward and you can’t stop it. It’s where
you feel like you’re part of this rat race and if
you stop or try to get off, everything will go
haywire.

I have this problem where I’m always on high
alert, because of it I have a hard time sleeping,
I can’t ever just relax. I hate to say no so I end
up focusing on too many things at once, which is
highly stressful.

The scary thing is that worrying about stressful
situations will definitely affect your health. The
problem is not just wondering what will happen,
the problem is when you start to “what-if”
everything and you never “what-if” on a positive
outcome it’s always a horrendous outcome of sorts.

As you know, all this worrying causes a lot of
health issues. For example, I can’t sleep because
I’m always worried and stressed about something.

Negative “what-iffing” doesn’t help anything or
anyone, you just end up gaining more fear and a
sense of foreboding about the situation that may
or may not happen in the future.

From all this worrying you can develop stomach
issues, headaches, muscle problems, and it’s
definitely not good for your heart health. It can
also cause high blood pressure, tachycardia,
shortness of breath, and so much more.

It’s not unusual for me to finish working and feel
a horrible muscle pain in the back of my neck
after I realized I’ve just been sitting stiff and
stressed and in excruciating pain.

All this worrying and stress may even cause heart
disease. The reason this can happen is because
when you are stressed, your body gets an influx of
stress hormones. Having an irregular dose of
stress hormones puts more pressure on your heart;
high blood pressure goes hand in hand with raised
stress hormones.

Another thing that constant stress does to your
body is it produces more cortisol, which is a
hormone that can actually make your inflammation
worse. If you have issues with inflammation
levels, reducing your stress may help. You can
reduce stress by getting more sleep, yoga, long
walks, meditation, even a small vacation and of
course a break from technology can help you
support your immune system.

Besides all the ways that stress and worrying can
affect your body, it can also do major harm to
your emotional and mental health as well. For
example, if you constantly worry about stressful
situations where it becomes an ongoing habit, you
can risk having a mental breakdown.

Mental breakdowns usually happen when the stress
you’re dealing with reaches the point where you
just cannot deal with it anymore. It will cause
you to lose your ability to go about your day as
you normally would.

It also affects your sleep and causes more anger
because you feel as if others aren’t as stressed
about what you’re stressed about as you are and
it’s not fair. When you feel there’s no end in
sight, it can cause having trouble with eating as
well, either too much or too little.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we all know, people cope with stress in very
different ways, which can be labeled four
different ways.

One is problem analysis, where people think about
the problem. In this case, the person would be
using “what-if” in a positive manner. This is
usually the first step that often helps motivate
people to reach for a solution to their problem.

For example, if you engage in problem analysis,
you can see the problem objectively without
internalizing to the point that you dwell on it
long term. These people can look at something and
solve the issue without losing sleep.

Plan rehearsal is the second type of coping
mechanism; this one is mostly used by analytical
thinkers. With plan rehearsal you won’t dwell on
the negatives, instead you’ll think about how to
bring this situation to a fair resolution. This
typing of coping mechanism believes that there’s a
solution to everything regardless of the
situation.

This person will usually come up with different
solutions and then will analyze each one for the
best outcome. These people hardly ever carry a
stressful situation over to the next day or
longer.

Then there’s the stagnant deliberation, which is
the poorer method that people use to deal with
stress. This is where the person will “what-if”
the situation to death and think about the problem
but won’t get anywhere with a solution. Because
they don’t come up with a solution they cannot
move forward.

Stagnant deliberation is the worst for your health
because this is where you don’t come up with a
solution, which means you can’t move forward. This
is really bad for your emotional and physical
health because it can affect you to the point
where it makes you ill.

The final coping mechanism is called the outcome
fantasy. In this case, people will fantasize or
daydream that the problem will magically solve
itself so they won’t have to deal with the
problem. The coping mechanism can also affect your
emotional and physical health.

The best way to handle stress is to make an action
plan ahead of time by knowing how to act rather
than react to the stressful situation, try to
handle the stress before it becomes an issue.

So for every situation that happens, prioritize it
by asking yourself if the situation is yours to
handle. I don’t know about you but I find myself
dealing and stressing about things that I don’t
even have to deal with. We not only have our
stress to deal with, we also take on other
people’s stress.

You want to help and you want to fix someone
else’s stress, especially if it’s someone you love
and care about, but that will cause a lot more
stress for you and you can quickly become
overwhelmed. Don’t take on any situation
especially if you already know that it will have a
stressful outcome.

For example, as hard as this may be, if you know
that every time you visit a certain relative that
you don’t get along with and you know your stress
level will hit the roof, then don’t visit them. If
you do want to see that family member, arrange it
to where you’ll have control of the outcome.

The best way to deal with stress is to take steps
to avoid or handle stress before it happens. If
you know you have to be somewhere at a certain
time, leave earlier and give yourself plenty of
time so you’re not stressed.

Another way to help deal with stress is to make to
do lists. Give yourself time to accomplish your
tasks. Mostly importantly, learn to say ‘NO’ to
people and things that may or may not cause you
stress.

Don’t stress and focus on things and people you
can’t control. All you can control and be
responsible for is doing what you’re supposed to
do. Let the other person deal with their own
stressful situations and their own consequences.

Another great way to deal with stress is when you
know that a situation is coming up, be prepared
for it by writing down the steps and possible
solutions that you’ll take if the situation
happens. Then after you do that, you’re prepared
and let it go.

I’d love to know some ways that you deal with
stress. Do you have any suggestions in dealing
with stress?

– Julie 😉

 


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