Stress is everywhere…
Our inboxes, social media feeds, and televisions subject us to a constant stream of stressful material.
That’s because crises and disasters get more viewership than “everything running smoothly”.
Even the word “stress” itself is a cause of stress…
We know stress can be bad. It causes fatigue, insomnia, immune dysfunction, over-eating, under-eating, weight gain, weight loss, etc, etc, etc.
It’s good for people to be aware of how bad stress can be, but there’s another way we should think about it.
Positive aspects of stress?
Surprising as it might sound, there’s a positive side of stress.
It’s not some kind of biological mistake that causes us to become stressed. Stress has a real and important purpose in our lives.
Whenever you wake up in the morning, stress probably plays a part.
The fear of what will happen if you don’t wake up to care for your kids or go to work is often what it takes to shake off that morning fog.
Stress is inspiring.
Often, our greatest ideas blossom out of stressful situations. Stress pressures us to change the situation we are in. It can kick our brain into overdrive when we are against the clock.
Stress can push us to help others.
The plights of others can cause us to become stressed, and the desire to be rid of that stress can motivate us to help them.
Stress triggers our protective instincts.
Stress triggers our fight or flight response. Staying in flight or flight for extended periods of time can have negative effects on our health, but when this state is triggered by an actual threat, our stress response can be the difference between life and death.
Stress communicates emotion.
Tears, facial expressions, and changes in our voice can all be triggered by stress. These changes alert us, and the people around us, that something is wrong.
Why focus on these positive effects?
Recognizing that stress has a real purpose in our lives can help us avoid the vicious cycle of getting stressed about being stressed.
When you feel stressed, don’t focus on the negative side effects. Instead, ask yourself, “why am I feeling stressed? Is this feeling serving me in any way?”
Giving stress the attention that it demands can help you to release it.
Please note that the point of this article is to help reform your relationship with healthy stress. Chronic stress — which is stress that comes without clear cause and doesn’t go away for a long time — is still a serious problem requiring treatment.
This blog is an excerpt from a group visit Lindsey Jost, APRN, FNP-C hosted with patients who are part of our MaxWell Care program. Our weekly group visits (available only to our MaxWell Care patients) are designed to change your life and supercharge your health.
If you have questions about MaxWellCare and how to join, please click here to learn more or call us at 615-370-0091. We’d love to help you Maximize your Wellness!