Discover the varying stress types and all about stress so you can cope better
Troubled thoughts, chest pain, sweat, tremors, intermittent breaths: Everyone deals differently with the daily demands that affect us. Therefore, I want to dedicate this post and talk all about stress.
Find out here what stress really means, what causes and consequences it has and how it can contribute to autoimmune diseases.
What is stress?
The definition is: “A stimulus that is unusually high and can bring you out of balance both physically and mentally”. There are three important points in this: The attraction is unusual and occurs suddenly and somehow throws you out of balance.
We will discuss examples of stress and why it is different today than it was 10,000 years ago.
How does a typical stress reaction work?
Your body senses some kind of stress. This occurs suddenly (a car honking, the boss appears in the door.) The sympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that is trained to survive) reacts to the stress and activates the next point.
The sympathetic nervous system increases blood pressure, pulse, releases various stress hormones to provide energy, increases our vigilance and tenses the muscles. After all, the body assumes a dangerous situation.
The body is now prepared for the stress, receives it and deals with it. This is how we usually master dangerous situations. The stress reaction subsides again and everything can continue as normal.
If the stress, which is common in our day and age, is chronic and persistent, the following happens:
The adrenal cortex, a gland that produces stress hormones, doesn’t have much stamina. The production of stress hormones requires a lot of nutrients that will eventually run out.
Then you can no longer react appropriately, resistance is lost and the body goes into a state of exhaustion.
If that happens in the evening towards the end of the day or during sports, that’s perfectly fine. However, if it’s a permanent condition, that’s a clear sign that you’re suffering from a stress problem.
Now you know how the body reacts to stress and what it can mean if it is chronic.
But before we go into more detail, you might be interested in the types of stress.
What types of stress are there?
Basically, stress is not a bad thing. If a stimulus throws you off balance for a short time, it can also be a good thing.
Theoretically, the birth of a child or a dear surprise is also a kind of stress. So it’s basically inappropriate to dismiss stress as bad. We’ll deal with myths and mistakes about stress later on.
There are three major types of stress that we address.
This is a stress that throws you off balance for a short time but takes you further in the long term. It can present a nice challenge, a sports session, fasting or an exciting public lecture.
All things that get you excited or upset (because it’s unfamiliar) but bring you a lot of good things in the long run. Eustress clearly faces stress.
Distress is the bad brother of Eustress: Distress throws you off balance and harbors nothing for you in the future.
It is exactly the kind of stress that harms you in the long term and that you should avoid. It is important to distinguish between eustress and distress.
Last but not least, we still have Hormesis.
Hormesis is distress, tough and exhausting, but only for a very short time. In the long term, Hormesis makes you resistant to great demands, because not only will your willpower grow, but your body will also learn to deal with the stimulus.
Specifically, Hormesis is a stressor that nature provides, and it increases your fitness:
1- A sprint training that improves your energy recovery.
2- Showering cold, which hardens you against cold in the long term.
3- A two to three-day fasting period that is tough but makes you less dependent on food intake and increases your fat burning.
Stress does not really have to be stressful. There are different types, but you decide how to deal with the stress.
The right way to manage stress
While 30 minutes of jogging is fun and natural for some people, it can be torture for others. Thus, for some it is eustress, for others, it is clearly distress.
You see: It is not your environment and not your fellow human beings who decide what is eustress and what is distress, but you yourself!
Only you handle and accept a stress stimulus or not. You choose whether it is eustress or distress at this moment.
Dealing with stress not only aims at reducing stress in everyday life but also helps to adapt to inner mindsets. Because especially stress, which is unavoidable in everyday life, gives you the choice of how to cope with it.
And do you know what? Everyone, absolutely every stress, no matter how disabling or annoying it can be, can somehow get you further with the right mindset. Every anxiety level has positive aspects that you can use for yourself.
Let us now come to the reason why our society is facing a massive stress problem today.
Stress earlier and today
Our society today clearly suffers from a stress problem. Most people complain of chronic stress in everyday life and at work and state that they are overloaded with the demands of everyday life.
Why is that?
As I said, stress is originally a mechanism your body initiates to cope with demands, to grow, and to improve to survive. In the natural sense, there should be a balance between eustress and distress.
Distress, in particular, should always be short and sweet: a survival situation with adrenaline should be short, a survival situation with cortisol should only be temporary. Your adrenal gland will then have enough time and resources to recover.
The problem today is that it is never only temporary, stress is always permanent. Regardless of whether it is adrenaline or cortisol stress – it lasts longer and gives you too little time and space to relax.
1- Your alarm clock goes off too early every morning and you start your day sleepy and not rested.
2- You sleep poorly and struggle through the day with coffee or tea.
3- Every day your boss comes up with a new, harder and more annoying task.
4- Your children cry out for love, attention and time and your spouse is no better either. At the same time, you have far too little time for yourself.
5- Either you do too little sport or you do too much. Both are a burden on the body. permanent.
6- You eat your butter and jelly bread early for breakfast or the frozen pizza for dinner. Nutrition is also a stress stimulus if it is unhealthy and permanent.
You can see that stress is not just chronic. These are completely different types of stress than nature intended. It’s no longer about pure survival, it’s about the many annoying aspects of everyday life.
This is not what nature wanted and your body does not have good mechanisms to compensate for this permanently.
And that’s why stress is what it is today: chronic, lasting and excessive. That is why we civilized people experience not only an epidemic of overweight and autoimmune diseases but also of anxiety and panic disorders.
Despite the many explanations and definitions, you are sure to still have some good and bad advantages and myths about stress in your head.
Are you ready to get them out of the way before we get to the actual symptoms, consequences and causes of stress in my next post? All right, let’s do it!
Myths about stress
Myth 1: Stress is bad
We already had that: There are different types of stress, not every stress is necessarily bad. It is up to you how you deal with the stress.
You can welcome the stress and use it to grow and improve, or you might recognize it as a stress and let fear take over. Work on embracing it and expand through it.
Myth 2: You can avoid stress
This is also wrong: Again, nature provides stress, but not to the extent and in the way that it is in our society today. Stress should be part of everyday activity and life, but not in excess, not chronically and not with a negative mental attitude.
Myth 3: Stress means too much work
There are people who work 60 hours a week, enjoy their work and don’t let themselves be “stressed” by it.
The wrong job can be a stressor, too much work can be stressful. But this does not apply across the board. If people feel fulfillment at what they do and are not overloaded, “too much work” can also be fine.
Myth 4: Stress shall pass
This is a common phrase that people use to excuse themselves to take action against the stress problem. In most cases, the situation is so chronic that it will not disappear into the air on its own.
If the causes persist, the symptoms become permanent. So you have to do something about the stress yourself.
Myth 5: Only relaxation helps against stress
This is also a delusion: Stress always has a cause (for example work, relationships, nutrition) and symptoms (anxiety, restlessness,etc. …). Of course, relaxation mechanisms are important to improve your well-being and give the body a chance to regenerate.
Just relying on this pillar, however, is wrong because you only treat the symptom.
And as you may know from reading other articles on autoimmune diseases, problems always need to be addressed at the cause, not just the symptoms. Just relying on relaxation is not expedient; you have to identify and eliminate the source of the stress. Or, change your mindset.
At this point, you have already learned all about stress and yourself than most anxious people in our society.
You can be proud of yourself. In my next article, you can read about how to recognize the stress, how it influences autoimmune diseases and how to manage and combat it efficiently.
What are your secret weapons against chronic stressors? I’m looking forward to your commentary! What’s stressing you out at the time being? Let’s talk about it, and I’m sure we will find a solution together.
Also, please, share us with your families and friends on social media, so they, too, can stop by and learn new things, receive tips, grab free ebooks and get personalized advice during trying times. Please, do spread the word, so I can continue to help others to reclaim their lives, again.
In the meantime, I’m sending you much love, happiness and an abundance of all good things. You are precious, cherished, appreciated and endlessly loved. ~ Namaste~