Good News About Stress Management: How “Good” Stress Keeps Us Going & Growing

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreEvery health and lifestyle magazine contains articles claiming stress is bad for us. They list dozens of ways to relieve stress, from exercise to healthier foods to relaxation techniques especially for people who take care of others and tend to neglect themselves.But stress is not always as bad as these cautionary articles insist. In fact, some stress is actually necessary to keep us going and growing.Our individual responses to different types and levels of stress can either drain or energize us. It is how we perceive and process both ongoing and unexpected stressors that intensifies or reduces their impact on our bodies, minds and emotions. The term “stress” was first used in the mid-1950s by endocrinologist Dr. Hans Selye in his book “The Stress of Life.” In his research experiments, Selye discovered that we experience stress not only when we hear bad news but also when we receive good news. He differentiated these two types of stressors by calling negative stress “distress” and positive stress “eustress” (the Greek prefix “eu” means well or good). The idea that we naturally feel stressed by positive experiences — like getting married, having a baby, graduations, promotions, winning awards or races — is echoed in the Social Readjustment Ratings Scale. Devised by University of Washington medical researchers Holmes and Rahe, the SRRS ranks the impact of good stress-events as well as bad stressors like death, divorce or losing a job. They discovered it is the accumulation of minor plus major changes over a period of time that increases one’s chances of developing stress-related ailments like heart disease, cancer or a weakened immune system. Stress effects also intensify when several changes occur without enough time between them to recharge our physical and mental resources. When dealing with normal life changes, Holmes and Rahe also concluded that a single event is rarely stressful enough to cause significant illness if we have some control over the situation and are able to view it as a challenge or opportunity instead of a threat. So stress is not always bad or unhealthy. It can actually keep us from becoming complacent or staying too long in jobs, relationships or environments which are not good for us. When bad stress builds to the “breaking point,” it usually forces us to make choices and change our behavior or environment with positive and healthier results. Stress is also necessary to keep us moving forward while working toward a goal — like a creative or business project — or training for athletic events like championship games or marathons. This type of eustress prevents us from slowing down or giving up too soon and helps us build momentum in the early stages to empower us to reach the “finish line.” So positive stress management can actually give us a Competitive Edge via increased focus and drive. As we move forward on what researchers call the Performance Stress Curve, eustress helps us make choices, take actions and communicate more clearly. When it comes to managing stress, there are two basic approaches: Defensive or Offensive. If we take a Defensive approach, we subconsciously distort reality by hoping the situation will change without having to do anything about it. But this keeps us in a state of denial and often amplifies the internal impact of distress, contributing to disease or depression. Taking an Offensive approach, however, enables us to manage stress by using it to our advantage. By consciously changing or adapting, we adjust to life-changes organically and can view things in perspective that at first feel like problems. Then we can reframe these “problems” as opportunities or challenges and take appropriate action. Offensive ways to manage stress include: Changing our situation whenever possibleIncreasing our ability to cope with the situation as it isChanging our perception so the situation looks and feels differentChanging our behavior, as this is truly where we have the most controlWhenever we feel stressed, it can be useful to first determine whether it’s Distress or Eustress. Then we can decide whether to become Offensive by utilizing or adjusting it, or remain Defensive and wait to see if the situation changes on its own. Sometimes choosing to live with stress is appropriate, like when it energizes our Competitive Edge. We can also balance our stress levels to avoid being thrown off-center too easily or often. Ongoing stress management techniques for creating balance include sleeping well, eating healthy foods, exercising, meditating &/or focusing on the positive things in our lives. These are simple and inexpensive ways to relieve pressure, especially when we’re faced with unexpected events or must manage stress over a long period of time. While the bad news is that it’s nearly impossible to avoid stress in our crazy-busy world, the good news is that using stress management techniques and being mindful can actually make stress empoweringinstead of draining. This puts us in control of the stressors in our lives so they can’t stop us from continuing to go forward and grow more joyfully empowered every day.Barbara Schiffman, C.Ht., is SelfGrowth.com’s Official Guide to Stress Management, a Life Balance Coach, Certified Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner. For a list of her favorite stress relief books/resources, send her an email request for “The Eustress List” with your name and city/state to [email protected] or visit www.hypnosynergy.com.Top photo courtesy of Sun StarAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

EDITORIAL: The tribalism of America

first_imgRecently, a media commentator on Black History month referred to the increasing “tribalism of America.” Expounding on his remarks, he said it was rather ironic that people captured from several African tribes were brought to America to boost the nation’s economy, but modern America has itself become a nation of warring tribes.Reflecting more on this comment, one can understand the reasoning.  Modern America has morphed from a nation of diverse, relatively peacefully coexisting groups, into one of  radical divisiveness akin to the rabid chauvinism of tribes.Various American tribesToday, America is characterized by racial tribes; political tribes; economic tribes; religious tribes; generational tribes; pro-immigration and anti-immigration tribes; and as displayed in recent days pro-gun rights and anti-gun rights tribes.Fueling this divisive tribalism is the manner with which each group defends itself. Long gone are the days when objective debate was used to defend the believes of one group against another. Today, aided by the rapid interaction of social media, various groups use vitriol, slander, meanness and downright nastiness to defend and accuse those not sharing their believes and opinions. The result is the United States of America is crumbing into a state of disunity that seems beyond repair.One of the unfortunate circumstance resulting from the recent mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida is the spotlight it has cast on America’s tribalism.Student advocates targeted Although the youth survivors of the shooting have taken the very courageous step to honor the death of fourteen classmates and three staff members by rallying for gun reform, they have been the target of bitter, accusative vitriol by other groups,But, it’s the youth who once again seem poised to make a change in America, and possible break down barriers that are making the nation seem like one of impenetrable tribes.History of youth in 1963In 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama, over a thousand children weary of the degradation and barriers of racial segregation, chanting “Enough is enough” marched out of schools seeking racial justice. Although they were met with powerful gush of water from fire hoses, and set upon by fierce dogs, the youth persevered. The widely televised images of children, 12 – 18 years-old, being beaten, water hosed, and threatened by police dogs, made a difference in a movement that most adults were either scared or reluctant to be involved in. The action of these children some 55-years ago led former President John F. Kennedy to desegregate Birmingham and other Southern regions.The youth in 1963, were directly responsible for breaking down one of the strongest tribal barriers in America. And, today students in Florida, and other regions in the US, led by courageous students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are attacking another tribal barrier.May be harder in 2018The youth movement for change in 2018 may be harder than in 1963 since the tribal boundaries have strengthened.  Moreover, the negative impact of the vitriol spewed through social media may be more powerful than water shot from powerful fire hoses.In 1963, it was mostly relatively poor black kids that led the march for change. However, the march for change underway by Florida’s, and other youth, is more racially and economically integrated. Fortunately, a positive sign for the de-tribalization of America, todays’ youth is not as racially, politically, religiously, and otherwise divided as their adult generation is.Youth movement articulate and fearlessThis youth movement for reform in America is extremely articulate, and fearless, willing to go face-to-face with politicians, and ‘tribal’ leaders who believe they are invincible. The youth also realize the social media used to target them negatively, can also be used as a positive tool to rally their cause. And, already, they have begun to initiate change.There are definite signs a powerful youth movement is building destined to eventually break down the tribalism caused by race, economics, religion, immigration, and other social barriers.A little child will lead themThe religious minded in the community are unhesitant to cite words from the Biblical prophet Isaiah to describe the current youth movement: “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb; the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.”Again, the youth has grasped the initiative, and its time for adults to follow their leadership to ensure more tribal barriers are broken down in America.last_img read more

Barcelona has a new coach

first_imgBarcelona legend Ronald Coeman is officially the new coach of the Catalan club.The former defender signed for two years after yesterday he terminated his contract as a coach of the Dutch national team, for which Barça will pay between 4 and 5 million euros in compensation. Its official presentation will be today around 19:00.Kuman took over after the dismissal of Kike Setien after the resounding 2: 8 loss to Bayern in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, being selected in the competition of Mauriso Pochettino and after the refusal of the legend Xavi Hernandez to return to the club.The Dutchman has already sat on the Barcelona bench as an assistant to Luis Van Gaal from 1998 to 2000, after which he worked for Vitesse, Ajax, Benfica, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia, AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord, Southampton, Everton and the Dutch national team.As a coach, the specialist has three Dutch championship titles (two with Ajax and one with PSV), a national cup (Ajax), two Dutch super cups (Ajax and AZ Alkmaar), the Portuguese Super Cup with Benfica, the King’s Cup in Spain with Valencia. and second place in the League of Nations with the Netherlands (loss to Portugal 0-1 in the final).Winbet – victory is an emotion! (18+)Welcome home, @RonaldKoeman!️ #KoemanCuler— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 19, 2020last_img read more