Stress – No Longer Useful, Harmful?

Stressed Chicken BirdStress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which elevates heart rate and prepares the body for action. Nowadays, stress is useful in many situations. It helps us meet deadlines, make it into work on time, and study harder. However, too much stress multiplies itself and weakens the immune systems. Stress makes us uncomfortable, so we automatically want to get rid of it. If we are able to remove the stressors, then the stress was useful. However, if we fail to remove stressors, then the stress was harmful. This can lead to learned helplessness where a person begins to feel powerless and if it becomes serious, it can worsen into a depression.

I think that we’ve been quite adaptive with stress because it can be useful in so many situations, but stress is now a common occurrence in our everyday lives. With such busy lives, it’s not easy removing all the stressors. We simply live with too much stress. In the past, people felt stressed when they were hungry or in danger. Today, people feel stress on the drive to work, at work, and at home.

Since stress can be harmful, let’s take a look at what we can do to reduce it:

  • Reduce commute time – traffic is a stressor, more time to do other things is a relief
  • Schedule some “me” time to do what you enjoy
  • Spend time with family and friends – socializing helps
  • Work to eliminate stressors
  • De-clutter your environment
  • Write things down
  • Manage your time
  • Listen to music
  • Exercise for 30 minutes a day
  • Plan ahead
  • Sleep

Lastly, have confidence because you can do it!

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