Stress is something we all have in our lives. We don’t always hate what causes it, even though stress has a bad image. Sometimes the same thing that gives us reason to celebrate also causes us stress. A child’s wedding, wedding dress shopping, a job promotion, or even a loved holiday can all cause us stress.
Stress causes cortisol to be released into the bloodstream and this can build up over time, leading to health problems with the heart and other organs. While our bodies don’t know the difference between the two different types of causes of stress, good events versus bad events, with the good events, mentally we can mitigate the effects, even if slightly, through our happiness. This happiness can offset some of the stress for us. So, it might be possible, through positive thinking, to alleviate some of the stress that we experience, even from what we might consider to be bad events.
Some events cannot be changed and must remain the way they are for a long time, perhaps even indefinitely. Divorce, natural disasters, house fires and so on do happen and their effects are felt for a long time afterward. Living is not the same afterward in most cases, with the destruction of the things that brought normality to our lives. We may still be alive, but we have to re-organize our lives around our new environments, even if they are emotional ones. This also causes more stress!
Some people will say to make the best or most of everything that comes through your life, to make lemonade when life hands you lemons. The thing is, you also need water and sugar to make lemonade. The best approach is to look at it with a view of your total life, not just aspects of it, here and there. The whole of your life, as it is now, needs to be examined and appreciated. Looking back at how much better your past was than what your future seems to be capable of being won’t help you decrease your stress levels, so avoid doing this. Memories are good to look back on when it shows you how capable you are of building a happy and successful life, though. Looking back for self-encouragement is one thing, and reminiscing in sorrow about all the things you’ve lost is another.
Stress can affect your health, so minimizing the stress you experience is important. When it’s impossible to minimize the amount of stress in your life, the next best thing is to frame how you think about the events in your life.
Divorce opens up many doors, so if you’ve been through a divorce recently, it’s better to realize that you can still move forward with your life, no matter your age. In the case of divorce, it’s true that you won’t have any emotional support from you ex-partner, you also won’t be told that you shouldn’t take that pottery class, stay out late with friends, have your relatives spend the weekend, or anything else you and your ex-spouse used to argue about.
If you’ve lost your home due to a natural disaster, this can be extremely stressful, so it’s best to look at and keep in mind the things that you didn’t lose. Helping others is another excellent way to refocus your energy on moving forward and rebuilding your life. As you help others find out information that helps them, you’ll also find out what can help you in rebuilding.
Another way that stress can affect your health adversely besides the release of extra cortisol into the bloodstream is that it can create overwhelming feeling of depression. While you may not be depressed in the typical sense, knowing that you may feel sluggish, more tired or cranky than usual, or just feel blah, because of the increased stress in your life can help you fix the problem, at least to an extent. Otherwise, stress can cause you to neglect areas of your life that an lead to future health problems.
If eating seems to be an unconscious way for you to cope with the amount of stress in your life, this can lead to weight gain, as well as additional cavities in your teeth. Sleeping too much can lead to a lack of exercise, poor hygiene and other problems. These in turn can lead to deep feelings of inadequacy and other health problems.
In short, stressful situations, especially when there is nothing you can do to follow the standard advice about reducing the amount of stress you have, can cause you a great deal of stress. It is your mindset that needs to adapt to carry you through whichever situation it is so that you can re-frame your situation, abilities, and the future.