The Stress Series - A week long exploration

Posted at 12:47 pm on 06/16/2014 by Dave Greene RN, CCWC
June 16, 2014 9:35am
Good Morning,

I wanted to start this Monday with a new concept for this wellness blog, and see if you would find it interesting and useful.  I would like to do a week long series on a wellness topic that provides a complete 360 view of the issue.  The initial topic is going to be: "Stress - Causes, Effects, and Solutions to Living Successfully".  I hope you find this an enjoyable way to explore a topic.  Please let me know your thoughts whether good or bad, so I can ensure I meet your interest level needs.  Thank you.

Stress - the causes

What is stress?  That might be the first place to start even though it seems quite elementary.  Merriam Webster's definition is the following -

constraining force or influence: as
a :  a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part; especially :  the intensity of this mutual force commonly expressed in pounds per square inch
b :  the deformation caused in a body by such a force
c :  a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation
d :  a state resulting from a stress; especially :  one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium <job-related stress>
e :  strain, pressure <the environment is under stress to the point of collapse — Joseph Shoben>
:  emphasis, weight <lay stress on a point>
archaic :  intense effort or exertion
:  intensity of utterance given to a speech sound, syllable, or word producing relative loudness
a :  relative force or prominence of sound in verse
b :  a syllable having relative force or prominence

Now that we're all the same page literally, we can talk about what causes this mental tension that is derived from the challenging situations that occur in our lives.  How is your stress?  Have you taken the time to assess the stress in your life, both good and bad? 

Good and bad?  Is there actually such a thing as good stress?  Yes, sorry to be the bearer of this news if you were unaware. :)  We all need that little nudge sometimes in our lives to ensure we keep moving toward personal growth.  That nudge is the good stress in our lives.  Some examples I can think of immediately are job performance reviews, annual physicals, and difficult conversations with the people important in our lives.  You may have others or may not completely agree with mine, but I chose these three because the cover moving ahead positively in our careers, our health, and in our personal relationships.  Without this nudging or "Good" stress we become complacent in these areas which will lead to bad stress.

How much stress do you currently have in your life?  Here is a link to a form that will help identify the stressors in your life, and provide an evaluation of what level you're currently experiencing at this moment in your life.

"The Social Readjustment Rating Scale", Thomas H. Holmes and Richard H. Rahe, Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Volume 11, Issue 2, August 1967, Pages 213-218, Copyright © 1967 Published by Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce granted by the publisher.

This chart will be able to let you know if circumstances in your life put you into a low, moderate, or high level of stress that you puts you at risk risk for personal health concerns.  Some things may be in your control, while others just occur without warning.  I hope this gets you to start looking at your life,and helps you identify challenges in your life that are the causes of your stress.

As I continue with this topic tomorrow, we'll explore how this stress can effect you both physically and mentally.  I hope you have a good start to your week, and here is a positive thought for the day to help create a balance for that negative stress in your life.


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