Shake It Off!

Let the Stress Be Gone!

Types of Stressors: Are you Overwhelmed?

First, you must determine what types of stressors are dimming your light. There are five different types:

  • Acute Time-Limited Stressors
  • Brief Naturalistic Stressors
  • Stressful Events Stressors
  • Chronic Stressors
  • Distant Stressors

If you are placed in a situation to face your phobias or placed in a uncomfortable situation then you many be presented with an acute time-limited stressor. It's only a stressor that lasts just until you give a response (Don't worry, face your fears!).

Brief naturalistic stressors are those that you face in your natural environment. It may be that upcoming job interview or a huge college exam standing in your way.

A stressful event may occur such as a tragedy or enduring through a natural disaster. You find yourself trying to gather hope and glue your life back together (It's only temporary!).

Chronic stressors can also be tragedies. You are forced to adapt to something that cannot change such as a disability.

Finally, there are distant stressors. These stressors have occurred a distant time in the past, but these events continue to affect you. Such stressors can be abuse, loss of a loved one, prisoner of war or war trauma.

Be Aware of Your Signs and Symptoms

If you have experienced one or more of these stressors, your body will begin to breakdown mentally, physically, emotionally. Here are the signs of stress that can occur to the body:

  • Insomina
  • Headaches
  • Feeling Overloaded or Overwhelmed
  • Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness

There are many more signs and symptoms of stress, so be aware!

How Are You Coping: Defense Mechanisms

Many of us like to overbear our lives by taking on too many tasks that are time consuming and have very high expectations. When stressful situations arise we will protect ourselves from the stressors that begin to affect us. These are called defense mechanisms. These include:

  • Denial
  • Regression
  • Acting Out
  • Dissociation
  • Repression
  • Displacement

These are not healthy mechanisms for you or others around you, but here are some mature mechanisms to use:

  1. Sublimation is to zone out the bad impulses for more acceptable ones. You will refocus your energy to other healthy actions such as exercise or find humor in the little things. Just shake it off and move on to greater and better things!
  2. Compensation is where you may have weaknesses in one area, but you improve in other sections of your life where your strength clearly outshines your area of weakness. You may not be very academic, but you pick it up in the athletic activities and excel in that area.
  3. Assertiveness isn't such a bad characteristic. Many people who are assertive are good leaders and speak up on important issues. They may also have a good listening ear while they are being spoken to.

Consequences of Stress

If you cannot cope with stress it can have severe problems to the mind and body. The consequences are:

  • Suppressed immune system
  • Illnesses
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Burn-Out


The Greater Good of Stress

On the flip side, stress has good benefits. This stress is called eustress. You can become more resilient. Once you have endured your fair share of stressful situations, it better prepares you for the ones to comes. Management becomes easier over time. Eustress can be a great motivator. Once you see that deadline staring at you in the face. It will change you behavior to get it done quickly and productively.
Unbroken - Motivational Video

How To Prevent Stress

It will be easier to swim through if you catch it early!

There are three levels of stress prevention.

  1. Primary Prevention: Eliminate stressful situations at the work place as soon as possible. Set up group meetings, offer training and participation, study groups.
  2. Secondary Prevention: Stress is already there, but you are given the tools to adapt. For example, be physical and exercise or even meditate.
  3. Tertiary Prevention: This prevention will treat and rehabilitate those who have been exposed too long and cannot cope. Some examples are: telephone support lines, counseling, referrals to specialized physicians, and sometimes medication.

Finally, Shake It Off!

Stress cannot consume you if you think positive. In case you find yourself sinking, here are some techniques to use if you find yourself in a stressful situation:

  • Meditate
  • Slow down- one task at a time
  • Reach out- talk to others
  • Decompress and Massage
  • Laugh
  • Crank up the tunes
  • Get moving