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Stress in our life. How we can use stress by transforming the way we see it.

What is stress?

What comes to mind when we think about stress? For many of us, it is a feeling of experiencing ‘mental exhaustion,’ frustration, anger, overwhelming emotions, and even depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, stress is:

A brain’s response to any demand. Many things can trigger this response, including change. Changes can be positive or negative, as well as real or perceived. They may be recurring, short-term, or long-term and may include things like commuting to and from school or work every day, travelling for a yearly vacation, or moving to another home. Changes can be mild and relatively harmless, such as winning a race, watching a scary movie, or riding a roller coaster. Some changes are major, such as marriage or divorce, serious illness, or a car accident. Other changes are extreme, such as exposure to violence, and can lead to traumatic stress reactions.

This common understanding of stress draws the logical conclusion that although having some stress in our lives may not be detrimental to our well-being, having too much (especially on a continuous basis) is often unhealthy, and we ought to find ways to reduce it all costs. Hence, the multitude of different techniques being promoted and developed to manage and reduce stress. Many of these techniques are designed to “fight” stress as if it were our enemy, with the focus targeting mostly the effects and rarely its causes.

What is stress for me, may not be stress for you.

Different individuals experience stress in their unique way. It can vary widely from person to person. Stress for one person is not necessarily the same for another person. We all have different capabilities when it comes to dealing with stress in any given situation. For example, one situation can create varying levels of stress in different people, or sometimes, even in the same person but at a different time. It all comes down to our beliefs and perception of a particular event, situation, or experience. Based on these perceptions and beliefs, we then give it a description, estimation, and justification; we assess our capability to handle the situation. Our opinion depends on our experiences and beliefs about who we are AND what our "limits" are. As a result, how we describe these beliefs, limits, and experiences, and assimilate it with our world view will subsequently affect how we adjust or redefine our worldview and our place in it. What this does, in effect, is create the anticipated outcome of a situation where our unconscious tendency to confirm our expectations, reinforces our beliefs. This is why it is of utmost importance to understand the actual causes of our stress and in this way, change its effect on our lives.

Stress is a constant feeling that developed through evolution to motivate humans to action. It creates a state of imbalance and by doing so, generates the energy required to regain balance. Restoring