Facts About Stress

According to the Oxford Dictionary, stress is a condition in which we experience tension, pressure or a demand on physical or mental energy.

In the everyday world, stress can be a motivating factor. It gets us out of bed in the morning, and enables us to do what we know we have to do. It is positive stress that gives us that ‘high’ feeling when we’re working our butts off and doing a great job.

When positive stress becomes ‘distress’ we need to take action in order to maintain our health and wellbeing. This negative stress and the illnesses related to it are taking their toll in the community these days but there are a range of transformational tools and therapies that can be successfully utilised in the treatment and management of distress. One of the tools Ive been looking at lately, is quantum physics, and you can find out more about that here, but lets stay on point.

What Causes Your Stress?

Stress doesnt just happen instantaneously, it is a series of events, reactions and actions, which all build on each other. Sometimes I talk to clients about a truck travelling on the highway. As the journey starts there is nothing much in the trailer, but as the journey continues, the trucker picks up various loads until the vehicle is just about carrying its maximum load and it can continue on the highway for a long time like this – travelling along with a heavy load but within the legal limit. What happens next is usually just a minor addition to the load – something tiny that in and of itself is irrelevant but is just enough to tip the scale so that the vehicle is now travelling over the recommended tonnage. Once overloaded, there is more pressure on the tyres, the truck can pick up too much speed going downhill – there are various systems that don’t work as quickly easily or effectively as they would under ‘normal’ circumstances. And this is pretty much what can happen to us. So although there can be a very major or significant event that creates a big stress load, most times, stress builds up over time.

In my own self-work, and when working with clients, I have found it makes change much easier to achieve with a stepped process. In their book “You & Stress”, Bob Montgomery and Lynette Evans describe a ‘Five-Factor Model of Stress’ that can be used;

The Five-Factor Model;

1) Stressors – The source of your stress. Frustration, inactivity or perhaps an insult.

2) Thoughts – Your self-talk, your beliefs, attitudes and expectations of yourself.

3) Physiological Response – The Body’s chemical and physical reactions to the stressors.

4) Feelings – Your emotional reaction to the stressor.

5) Behaviour – Fight or flight.

I feel that the Five-Factor Model is a useful tool, in that it is a sequential process that we can work through. Self-knowledge via reflection and observation is of course a requirement, because in order to begin the journey of stress reduction, we need to recognise our stressors. The Homes-Rahe Survey of Recent Experiences can help highlight the stressors that are currently at play in your life and you can run yourself through it here. (T.H Holmes and R.H.Rahe 1967, Journal of Psychosomatic Research Vol 11, pg’s 213-218),  

What is required?

Recognition – Understanding – Acceptance – Action – Change

If you’d like to take some action for change, contact me directly, Im always happy to help.

Warmest to you.

Karen Seinor

Soulful & Wild

Albury NSW Australia