How many times do we say or hear “I am sooooo stressed”. Stress reduction or stress management might start with “Stress Identification”. Eustress, or U stress a word and theory developed by Dr. Hans Selye in the 1930’s is defined as a healthy and growth-producing energy that actually provides our life force. Without U-stress, life would be inert or without movement. We have all experienced times where we felt pretty lethargic, unmotivated. At the extreme….like a lump or a blob. The other end of that extreme is “frazzled” and completely “stressed out”. The middle is where we want to be. If it were not for healthy stress, goals and achievements would be impossible to attain. Stress can help us mobilize our thoughts and physical energies toward completing tasks that are pleasurable, creative, and productive. Distress is beyond the limits of providing a healthy stimulus. According to the dictionary, distress is defined as extreme pain, anguish of body or mind. So with that in mind, we can understand why living with too much stress is bad for the body and mind!
In this amazing time in history, it is hard NOT to live a complex life. First and foremost, the abundance of choices that greet us at every moment of every day, we are constantly and chronically making choices, some easy and pleasant and some difficult. A mundane example is the 500 to 1000 television and movie channels we now choose from. You can actually spend a whole lot of time just browsing the guide, beginning to have less of an idea of what you want. What began as pleasant stimulation became overstimulation and can create annoyance and distress! TOO much to choose from! The Costco World of today or Malls of America are general examples of simple needs morphing into massive amounts of choices. At times, Fun? Fascinating? Too Much? Want More? What’s your take?
Achieving a healthy balance between stimulating energy that produces aliveness and a sense of well-being is the goal. Recognizing when you reach “Tension Overstimulation” that creates stress is something you can watch for. How well do YOU tell the difference in your life between “just right and too much”? It may be a helpful step toward putting your life in order the way YOU would like it to be!