The Struggle With Stress
THE STRUGGLE WITH STRESS
Our whole being (physical, emotional and mental) is constantly striving to be in balance or equilibrium as shown above. When we experience a stressful event, like a traumatic event or loss, it takes us out of balance, which causes our stress level to increase in direct correlation to the significance of the stressful event.
The “red line” in the above picture is our being striving to regain that balance. The higher the stress level, the more effort will be exerted to get there. Compare the red line to an elastic, which is being stretched tauter and tauter as stressors may be accumulating. The more out of balance we become, the stronger the pull to return to our “normal”. It could even snap if stretched too far.
Learning how to keep our lives in balance can help prevent that elastic from getting too tight. Managing our reaction to stressful events and the ongoing stress in our lives are the keys to staying in balance, mentally, emotionally and physically. It gives us the capacity to cope with events in the future, which have the possibility to overwhelm us if we are already close to our limits.
As the next diagram shows, there are many diverse sources of potential stress in our lives, from the past, present and in the future. Understanding the areas of stress currently in our lives, and assessing them, is important to bring ourselves more into balance now, as well as important for the ability to “bounce back” in the future from stressors that may occur tomorrow, or to have “RESILIENCY”.
Recognizing the various sources of stress in our lives allows us to make a choice to lower them. The preceding diagram illustrates just some of the potential sources of stress that may influence us. Other things such as significant loss, trauma or even our perspective we have of ourselves and others. There are many self-help books available for you to explore these things for yourself or other ways to understand better how to reduce the stress in your life, including professional help.
As stress accumulates, it can take a heavy toll on a person emotionally, physically, mentally and behaviorally. Unfortunately, time does not “heal all wounds”. There are many approaches to help people to reduce stress, but none of them work if people don’t actively seek answers for themselves.