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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Chapman

Are you stretched or stressed?

Overcoming and managing stress is a common theme in my corporate and private therapy clinic. Often having an understanding of stress can help us spot the warning signs and put in place the steps to help us look after ourselves better.

There are two types of stress that you need to know about: Distress and Eustress

Eustress is a positive form of stress. This kind of stress is produced by the body when faced with fun or interesting challenges, it can cause positive emotions which enhance our performance, improves our productivity, and actually puts us into a thrive state. So it is important to understand where you are at, and listen to your body. Eustress often produces positive feelings of excitement, motivation whereby you feel challenged. This emotionally leaves us feeling content and motivated, psychologically we feel more self actualised and autonomous and physically we feel engaged and energized.

It is important to note that too little stress can also be bad for us as we can become disengaged, bored and our performance suffers as a consequence.

Distress, and as the name suggests this is negative stress. This stress is linked to a range of negative emotions and can cause your performance to decline. It is also linked to a host of diseases such as type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Too much stress can push us towards burnout and breakdown.

Are you experiencing burnout?

The line between stress and burnout is a blurred one, and often difficult to see where one ends and the other begins. Burnout typically occurs when there is the accumulation of unchecked and built up stress over a period of time, it requires stress to exist but you can have stress without being burnout.

Burnout is rife in the current climate due to many of the environmental stressors that we are exposed to: Covid, cost of living, threat of war - all of these add to our day to day stress and the balance of family, friends and work .

Take a look at the symptoms below and evaluate if you are experiencing any of them? How are they impacting you and affecting your day or productivity?

Chronic exhaustion

  • Sleeping problems

  • Loss of motivation

  • Forgetfulness/ Impaired concentration

  • Frustration

  • Headaches

  • Decrease in libido

  • Physical health issues / Lowered immunity

  • Pessimism / loss of joy

  • Difficulty focusing

  • High blood pressure

  • Isolation

  • Depression

Although we need a moderate amount of stress for learning, growth, and optimal performance, too much stress or rather ‘distress’ can be damaging to our physical and mental wellbeing. If you feel like you are struggling with some of the symptoms listed above please get in contact. Sometimes making the first step to reach out for help can make all the difference to how you feel.

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