The Positive Side of Stress

    Viewing Stress as a Friend, Not an Enemy

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    Stress is said to be our number one enemy because it is believed to be guilty of most heart attacks, nervous imbalances, and even cancer. However, studies show the opposite. Some degree of tension acts positively in our life; what happens is that many people do not know how to channel it. Learn to take advantage of stress!

    There are many negative things that are said about stress; among them, among them being the number one enemy of those who live in cities. However, a study carried out contradicts this theory. According to scientists dedicated to research in this field: “People who live in rural areas have a higher level of disorders caused by stress and the most known and dangerous is depression.” As for cities, they create anxiety in its inhabitants, but they have the advantage of having more places of recreation than the countryside.

    So there is a controversy in that type A people (compulsive, competitive, and dynamic), that they are candidates for heart attack. A North American life insurance company studied the case of 2,350 business women and came to the conclusion that these women full of tension, activities, and responsibilities, have a higher lifetime average than those who live a life less active. In conclusion: stress does not have to be our enemy, but rather a great ally if we know how to channel it and learn to use it in our favor.

    What really is stress?

    Anti-stress factor

    The term stress or tension has been used by many people to describe “nervous tension” or “physical exhaustion”, thus giving it the wrong meaning. Hans Selye, a Canadian biologist who spent many decades studying this matter described stress as “the way in which everyone lives in any time or moment”. In other words, all living beings are under stress and any unpleasant or pleasurable situation that raises the intensity in their life causes a temporary increase in that tension. So in this world, everything creates tension … from the death of a friend to a passionate kiss. We feel the same physical stress when we fall in love as when we break with the beloved person because the signals that the brain sends to the body are the same. In both cases, the brain induces the body to secrete certain chemical substances and among them, there is adrenaline (a hormone secreted by the medullar mass of the adrenal glands). With that level of adrenaline “traveling” through our system, our heart beats fast, the sugar level rises and suddenly we are in a very large state of physiological excitement.

    And not only certain hormones are secreted when we are under stress, but the mere presence of something that causes us anxiety can cause our brain to activate, performing quite complex functions, which prepare us to accept great challenges. Some people who feel very good in that state, for example, are those who live a dynamic life and sometimes are threatened by danger, such as paratroopers, stunt men who participate in difficult scenes, race car drivers, etc., many sometimes say that they feel euphoric when they are under stress.

    Also, those people who confess that they work better under pressure, according to scientists, are addicted to the sensations caused by the chemical substances in their bodies unleashed by stress. That is to say, that all people need a certain level of stress to feel vibrant and in full contact with life. Without any tension, we run the danger of becoming useless and old.

    Think only one thing … how do you feel after a week of vacation or three days sick? Surely it takes at least a day to get back to a true life rhythm again. After the summer break, students can not immediately concentrate on their study, but can gradually readjust. Here is a more extreme example: people who have been deprived of freedom and in solitary cells, have no relaxed mind, but chaotic and almost on the verge of schizophrenia. From this, it follows that the stress that surrounds our daily life makes us be people with much more energy, courage, and mental acuity.


    Have you ever wondered why you can relax on a mattress? Because it has a spring mechanism that gives your body the support it needs while being at the same time soft and comfortable. In the same way, your body is built, because if it were not like that, when one of the areas of our life falls apart (maybe when you lose your job or your lifestyle changes in a negative way) we would be completely lost. Therefore, our life is composed of different fields where we can achieve personal triumphs: our family, friends, work, hobbies, studies, community activities, etc. Let’s call each of these fields our “springs”. When one of those springs weakens, we still have others that make us “bounce” and allow us to continue to have reasons to live.


    Going to a party is fun, but when we are under extreme stress, this can be more counterproductive than staying home watching television. The reason is that relaxation helps the hormones level out, which is vital for us to readjust. An effective way to relax is to take long walks, practice yoga, meditation, listen to soft music or watch a refreshing movie.


    Calm people have more problems with stress than impulsive ones, who always say what they feel. Those who have been raised in a way that conceals their aggressiveness and are always controlled, have too much adrenaline in their system, which they can not channel. And when there are no roads to relieve anxiety, you are endangering your mental health. Be able to say no when necessary. Be very confident in yourself.


    Responsibilities are able to give meaning to our lives and make them more active. They give us satisfaction. But be very careful when those responsibilities are not reflecting your interests and the values you seek in life because they can make you unhappy. In other words, define your own goals and fight for them and not for the goals of others.


    Depression overwhelms and sinks people. It makes them believe that they have no control over their lives. According to scientists, sex with your partner can neutralize depression. A certain level of pleasure and passion is undoubtedly a great relief.


    Avoid as much as possible the stress that is revealed as depression, because this can damage your immune system after long periods from suffering it. Remember that when your defenses are low, germs and viruses will find it easy to affect you. The good news is that when your well-being and spirits are high, your system generates beta-endorphins, and these are related to the manufacture of new white blood cells (those that produce the antibodies), strengthening your immune system and preventing you from being attacked by diseases.


    Because the word stress is so general, the scientist Hans Selye decided to divide it into three categories: depression, normal tension, and euphoria.

    DEPRESSION: It is the anxiety produced by a situation or negative events, such as the loss of a job or the death of a relative, and that is reflected in the form of sadness, boredom or loneliness. Scientists believe that a prolonged depression makes our immune system waver, so we have a greater tendency to contract a simple cold or an infection, all the way to more serious diseases.

    NORMAL TENSION: It is caused by the situations of daily life, which represents something like the “engine” that makes us go forward.

    EUPHORIA: It is caused by pleasure and pleasant things that raise our spirit and make us feel good, it is very important to clarify that although euphoria rebuilds our body, we must try to maintain balance in our emotions, as these, generally, unbalances us in some way … and this is something very natural.


    It is very important to learn to control the way of stress. Do you feel so tense that you are unable to fulfill your duties? This means that you are saturated with anxiety. What is the solution? Be prepared for tension. Find the ways to carry it and move on with it. Look at your problems, handle them in your own way and develop self-confidence. The experience of problems and situations that life present will help you to know how to face them next time, with more calmness and with more success.


    Being stress an integral part of the living being, learn to channel this energy to work in your favor. The first step to reducing stress levels, as for almost everything, is to learn to recognize the associated symptoms. Recognizing the stressful situation will give us an important clue, on that what you have done so far has not served you, then allowing you to change techniques. Avoiding stressful situations is not a viable solution, so it is advisable to know how to engage and deal with them head-on by managing the stress levels. We must also learn to recognize what concrete situations produce this increase in our levels of activation. Analyze and develop an action plan to deal with these types of situations.

    Regular sport and the maintenance of a balanced diet are key to managing stress and relieving negative energies and tensions that you may be suffering. It is proven that sports and physical activity in general release chemical substances that help us to feel better with ourselves. Taking advantage of your free time to vent and reduce tensions with the activity that you like the most is very recommendable. Learning how to channel emotional burdens is necessary to have a healthy and active life, our emotions need to achieve a balance and we must never repress or hide any of them, rather learn to handle them in a positive and healthy way.

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