How does one avoid stress in an already stress-filled environment? You don’t. There is no avoiding stress because it’s here to stay and make your lives miserable. However, there are effective ways of managing stress and making it less apparent in your life.
So the question is, why?
Why is it that with all the current treatments and therapies that focus on managing or decreasing stress, people still walk around carrying that painfully massive chunk of stress over their shoulders? Why is it that people ignore the factors that contribute to their being stressed and act like it’s not a big deal?
The million-dollar question
Well, here is the reality – stress is detrimental if not managed efficiently.
While there are still obstructions blocking the way to better propagate awareness on the different kinds of stress management methods, medical experts are receptive on the fact that stress cannot be easily quantified nor qualified as something that causes disorder or disease. But then again, stress is one of the leading contributing factors to a lot of major illnesses like heart ailments, stroke, gastrointestinal anomalies, anxiety and panic attacks, and even cancer.
Still, the bothering question still exists: With all these accurate information about stress that has been spreading like wildfire, why are people still refusing stress management? Melanie McNally, PsyD, LCPC once noted that “It’s unfortunate that when we are stressed or overwhelmed, the first things we neglect are the things we enjoy the most.” It is a common scenario, don’t you think?
Maybe it has something to do with how people see stress as a huge factor that affects their lives.
Reason #1: Explanations about stress management is confusing.
Stress is such a complicated topic to touch on. According to various definitions, stress is simply the body’s non-specific reaction to whatever demands that may arise. But what does that even mean? It could mean a variety of things. You even have the differentiation between positive and negative stress. But why? If stress is bad for the health, how can it turn positive? Recommending a variety of stress management techniques must also be kept to a minimum because according to experts, not all methods are fit for everyone.
Reason #2: Promotion of stress is rampant in our current culture and society.
Society says, “Go out and get some fresh air; it’s good for you!”
You, taken aback, replies, “But I can’t I have a lot of work to do.”
Society again insists, “It can wait. Now, go!”
You, being convinced that you need some time off, retorts, “Okay, I will.”
“Mental health struggles are real. They can be painful. You may feel alone. In some of the darkest times, you may feel like something is “wrong” with you to the core. ” Erica Thompson, LMFT, LPCC emphasizes. However, society, shocked at your response, stood on your desk and screamed into a megaphone, “Oh my goodness, what are you doing? You have a lot of work to do! Get back here!”
That, ladies and gentlemen, is our culture in a nutshell – the push and pull of the good and the bad. Society will remind you that you are in a stressful environment and you need to unwind to relieve some tension. However, that is a concern in disguise; because, it is also the same society that reminds you that unwinding is a horrible idea because work is not yet over. Whenever someone sees an opportunity to relax, culture and society will repeatedly nag you that stress is part of the process and what you need to do is buckle up because vacation is near, like 20-years-near.
Reason #3: Distortion in people’s coping mechanism for stress is rampant.
Jennifer Bradley, Psy.D., HSPP, Clinical Psychologist said, “When we are imbalanced, we develop various types of difficulties, including psychological and/or physical symptoms, and we begin to use ineffective or damaging coping mechanisms.” With that, people nowadays believe that stress can be countered by smoking, drinking, eating voraciously, and maxing out your credit on stuff that you can’t even afford; this is how people manage stress – blowing off a little steam by spending time, money, and effort on things that don’t help. In reality, these faux-management techniques that people consider as effective, are adding up to the stress that they already have. Thus, stress was never warded off and instead, it has escalated and became even more severe.
The time is now
Any time is the best time to handle your stress. If you belong to the working class, you belong to one of the most susceptible classes of individuals who suffer from stress.
Stress can ruin lives in the long run, if not managed appropriately. You can’t just pop a pill and rely on it to take the stress away in an instant. Because stress is everywhere, it is best to cope rather than cure since there is no such thing.