Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Attacking Anxiety and Depression
Cause of Anxiety
Healing Anxiety and Depression
Stress Management Therapy
Stress Management Seminars
and Anxiety Disorder
Mental Stress Groups
Stress Relief Games
Stress Management Teacher
Anxiety Panic Attack
Anxiety Stress Symptoms
Physical Anxiety Symptoms
KEYS TO MANAGING MENTAL STRESS
We’ve come to associate the term “stress” only with anxiety from negative experiences or emotions. There are, however, four primary types of stress that people experience:
So managing mental stress can take the form of wisely using it as an energy and motivational resource, as well as reducing negative factors in our lives.
- Eustress - a short-term stress that triggers immediate strength and arises at peaks of strong physical activity, enthusiasm, and creativity. This is a positive stress that arises when motivation and inspiration are sought. A gymnast, for example, usually experiences eustress beginning a competition.
- Distress – a negative episodic stress brought about by constant readjustments or changes to a routine, creating feelings of discomfort and unfamiliarity. The two types of distress are acute stress, which is an intense stress that comes and goes quickly, and chronic stress, which is a prolonged stress existing for weeks, months or even years. Those who constantly relocate or change jobs may experience distress.
- Hyperstress – this variety occurs when we’re pushed beyond what we can handle. It results from being overloaded or overworked. When we’re hyperstressed, even minor things trigger a strong emotional response. A Wall Street trader is a good candidate for this type of stress.
- Hypostress - the opposite of hyperstress. This usually occurs when an individual is bored or unchallenged. People who experience hypostress are often restless and uninspired, such as the factory worker required to perform repetitive tasks.
Know The Pros And Cons
As noted above, there’s some positives and negative aspects to mental stress. Usually there isn’t a clear line separating them:
What To Do?
- Type “A” personality – we’ve all seen the driven achiever, either from personal experience or as an intense, passionate movie character. The pros of this type of stress response are increased ability to meet or exceed goals, seemingly boundless nervous energy, little, if any, effect from consequences or circumstances, and often, material wealth and power. However, there can be a steep price tag: limited or no meaningful relationships, a myopic point of view with resultant narrowing of experience, certainly health problems, such as cardiac, neurological, emotional, and immunological.
- Emotional stress – we’ve all most likely experienced the breakup of a romance, the death of a cherished relative or depression after failing to achieve a sought-after goal. Herein lie the nascent seeds of repression or growth; what determines the eventual outcome is what is done with the facts behind the situation. Will responsibility be taken or will a sense of victimization be chosen? These proactive choices after an emotionally traumatic circumstance will leave one with bitter lemons or fruitful lemonade.
Chronic mental stress – when it appears that there’s no way out of a miserable situation, it's the stress of unrelenting demands and pressures ongoing for interminable periods of time that, with no seeming hope, causes the individual to give up searching for solutions. The coping mechanism, useful at first as a defense, morphs into either numb passivity or mindless rebellion, often violent and heartless. Many political climates (and some workplace environments) in today’s world illustrate this social dilemma of distress leading to hypostress.
A productive approach to effectively managing mental stress is to separate the wheat from the chaff; determine what in the mentally stressful situation is immediately or potentially helpful, and what is harmful or potentially damaging. Some typical scenarios might be:
Mental stress management strategies are evolving as life becomes more complex. The essence is to look for the lessons and keep moving forward in a positive direction. Giving comfort, support and a compassionate shoulder to our fellows experiencing mental stress can often be a means to heal ourselves, as well.
- The Breakup – A hard, objective look at one’s own role in causing the emotional separation, as well as a realistic evaluation of the matching of each other’s personality types, belief systems, worldviews, goals, and core passions, can be a guide to future commitments. Often, a therapist, counselor, or even an unbiased friend, can bring a fresh outlook that will encourage personal growth and wiser choices in the future. With this, pain can progress from healing onwards to personal progress.
- The Firing – Again, facing reality versus negative self-talk is most valuable. The sooner that objectively differentiating between personalities and principles is initiated in seeking truth, the sooner that kernels of cause will point to powerful change factors that, while harshly learned, will enable exponential growth.
- The Death – this is about facing up to the reality of being human; since noneof us get out of here alive, we must come to terms with mortality. The passing of a loved one is our vicarious re-experiencing of that and is a legacy passed on one to another. There are many interpretations, explorations, dissertations, and belief systems concerning death and dying. Suffice to say, this most powerful event in our lives can be the fuel for tremendous introspection, spur an opening of the wellspring of deep empathy for others and realign long-frozen priorities literally in a heartbeat. Unlike our tenure on Earth, the possibilities are endless.