Stress! Everyone experiences it every day. If it wasn't for stress, you may not get out of bed. So, is stress a friend or foe? Actually, it's both. We need some level of stress to motivate us to do things. Particularly those things we really don't want to do. So in that case, it's a friend. But like everything, too much of something can be a bad thing, and that's when stress becomes your foe. Prolonged stress can have negative effects on the body.
Too little stress, and we don't have the motivation to do anything. We need some degree of stress to function. This is "healthy" stress. How much stress is considered healthy may differ from person to person. There is however, some point at which the level of stress becomes unhealthy. This is marked by increasing fatigue, irritability, and anxiety for example. Continued exposure to stress brings on a sense of being overwhelmed, hopeless, and perhaps depressed mood. At this point, continued stress leads to exhustion, decreasing health, and total breakdown.
So how do we manage stress in our lives? Unfortunately, there's no single answer as each person's stressors and stress tolerance are different. Where to start:
Below are some informative handouts to help you learn more effective and healthy ways to manage your stress.