Monday, 14 January 2013

Stress: fight or flight?

Well today is my first day back at work after a week's leave. The holiday was great. Relaxing, active, away from my normal everyday life... and so I return refreshed and invigorated. That was at 8.45am... now it's 4.30pm, I've read hundreds of emails and suddenly there seems an awful lot to do and not enough time to do it in...well, that's work, it's Monday, I'm just back from holiday, and it's bound to be a bit overwhelming, isn't it? But could I be starting to feel a little bit of low level stress about it all....?

The Stress Management Society defines stress as: "a situation where demands on a person exceed that person's resources or ability to cope." 

That could be me. It could also be any of these people that I have met or spoken to today:
  • My niece, who is madly juggling a part-time job and studying for her next university exam.
  • A colleague who experienced a bereavement just before Christmas.
  • Another colleague who exclaimed: "Windows 8 is evil!" and hurried away to face the next challenging dilemma in his inbox.
  • My friend's partner, who (like me is no chef!) had to rustle up a Sunday roast unexpectedly for a house full of visitors.
Apparently stress has been hard-wired into us and would have been brilliant in the old days when we turned a corner in a forest path and happened upon, say, a wolf wandering in our direction. Stress causes the well-known response of "fight or flight..." (I know what I would have done when the wolf showed up....) But "fight or flight", whilst perhaps helping us out of the immediate crisis, does all sorts of damage to our health both physically and mentally, and is generally not to be welcomed.

However, one thing I have discovered about stress is that whilst I might not like it, there are loads of resources out there which can inform and help us:

The Stress Management Society has some useful information on its webpages here.

Deepak Chopra writes a blog called The Unconcious Life, you can read one of his posts on stress here. There is a really interesting section on the "fight or flight" response.

And the mental health charity Mind has some useful information on stress here.

Let us know what de-stresses you. Loud folk music (bring on Seth Lakeman) and exercise does it for me - but we're all different - so share some strategies and maybe help someone else fight their stress.

4 comments:

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  2. Hello Guys Stress typically explains a negative condition that can have an effect on someone’s psychological and physical well-being, but it is uncertain what exactly explains stress and whether or not stress is a cause, an effect, or the process linking the two. With creatures as complicated as people, stress can take on entirely tangible or very subjective definitions with highly very subjective features.Thanks!!


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  3. Stress is what many people have to deal. Sometimes it make people should wrong methods to overcome. Never chose alcohol because it never solve anything but make matter more worse.. always chose method to calm yourself.

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  4. Great post, we are researching the benefits of gardening activity (and contact with nature in general) for helping people to cope with stress or to prevent the experience of stress. Check out our research here: http://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/ghop

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