Stress. A little is useful for energizing us and helping us get things done. Too much, or chronic stress, and the body becomes unable to adapt and cope. (Benson, H. and Stuart E.M. The Wellness Book) What is stress? Separate from the stressor, stress is what you feel inside. It’s not just what’s in the environment, it is the interplay between what’s happening in the environment and your perception of what’s happening (see it as a threat versus a challenge) and your belief about how well you can cope with it successfully (can’t).
Since it is something that happens within you, there are shifts you can make in your thinking, beliefs, behaviors and emotions that build stress hardiness. (Are you feeling overwhelm already? See the act of reducing your stress as a finesse, a creative challenge, like a game.) Stress hardiness, the ability to experience stressors without experiencing a stress response, is facilitated by anything that helps you 1) have confidence in your ability to influence your life positively, 2) see what life puts in front of you as a creative challenge to finesse rather than as a threat, 3) commit to helping you support yourself to live effectively, 4) share your stresses with a friend (research of Kobasa, Maddi and Kahn).Continue Reading