Stress is part of life.
We can't escape it, but stress is not all bad. Stress does have a positive side, and some stress is necessary for functioning effectively and living a full life. When stress becomes negative, it can affect every part of our life, and is an ever-increasing complaint among workers, from those on assembly lines, to top level executives. Symptoms of stress account for a high proportion of visits to family doctors.
So when does 'good' stress become 'bad' stress?
Stress comes from our perception and reaction to things occurring in our environment — work, home, friends, family. Stress is individual, as what is stressful to one person, may not be to another, however there is a recognized list of events in peoples lives, that are considered more stressful. Change is stressful, as we are required to adapt to events, so even lots of 'happy' events are stressful to the body.
Stress can manifest in many ways — sleep disturbances, breathing disorders, panic attacks, chest pains, irritable bowel, muscle tension/aches, headaches, skin rashes, lowered immunity, and mood changes. Any existing medical condition is likely to be aggravated by stress.
The stressor is not the problem, but rather how we respond to the stress.So, how do we deal with it?
Learning to recognize the stress, and learning to respond differently can help turn a 'negative' stress into a 'positive' stress. Many people have forgotten what it feels like to be relaxed (without drugs, alcohol,T.V, computers). Once they have that concrete experience, they can use that as a new reference point for their management plan.
Life is getting busier and faster, and sometimes we need help to 'step off the treadmill', learn some new skills, to function better when back on the treadmill.
Massage, relaxation, breathing re-education and Bodytalk are all useful in helping a person deal with stress.