How to conquer your stress and not let it defeat you

Lesson 1: What Is Stress?

When you are trying to deal with stress, the most important thing is to know what stress is. What is this psychological condition that has ensnared 9 in 10 people of the world to some extent or the other? It is only when you know stress can you make an effective plan to combat it.

In this lesson, we shall learn about the different definitions of stress, and then we will focus on the definition that is the most accurate to today’s scenario. We will come up, close and personal will stress so that we realize how we can fight it.

What Is Stress

Stress has been defined in several different ways. Each definition has some kind of relevance, but we shall shortly speak about the definition that should matter to us the most.

A popular medical website defines stress as:“The physical and emotional strain which is caused by our response to the pressure from the outside world.”

This definition is good and seems correct. But there is something very important missing. Let’s see some other definition and the missing element will become apparent.

The definition of stress according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is as follows:“The physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and which may be a factor in the cause of disease.”

Another definition forwarded by the same dictionary is:

“The state resulting from stress, i.e. the state of bodily or mental tension which is a consequence of factors which purport to alter a prevailing equilibrium.”

Both of these definitions again have the same element missing, and that makes them inadequate.
Oxford Dictionary defines stress as:“A state of mental or emotional strain which is a result of adverse or demanding circumstances.”Once again, this definition does not make us too happy. Let us look at some more definitions that a random search on the Internet threw up for us.

“Stress is a normal physical reaction to various events that can make people threatened or can upset their balance in some manner.”

“Any factor that brings forth a threat or a challenge to our state of wellbeing is defined as stress.”

“Stress is the condition where people feel that they have too much on their platter; when they feel overloaded and feel that they are not capable of facing the various challenges that they face.”

With all these definitions, that one element that we were looking for still remains missing and so we can just pass them by.

Now, here are the definitions that we really like:“Stress is the response that the human body provides when it is met with circumstances that induce it to behave, alter or modify in some manner to maintain their comfortable state of balance.”

“Stress is the body’s way of reacting to challenges and getting prepared to face tough situations with concentration, determination and strength with a state of total alertness.”

Did you realize already why we like the last two definitions and not the ones mentioned before? Here is what worked for us… and what should work for you as well?

With the previous definitions, the problem is that stress is defined just as the influence of outside negative factors on the body. These definitions consider the body as a latent object, which can be easily manipulated by outside forces. But, with the last two definitions, the big difference is that stress is called as a ‘reaction’ or a ‘response’. These definitions consider the body as an actionable force, and it considers humans as beings who can do something about negative situations that they encounter in life.

Most people have the whole idea of stress pegged on wrong. They think that stress just happens and they can do nothing about it, except complain and brood. They think that they simply are meant to wallow in stress and do nothing about it.

That is hardly the case. The truth is that our bodies are very well capable of dealing with the negative situations that will inevitably crop up in our life. And it is these reactions that are termed as stress.

What we see here is the gross ignorance people have about stress. Maybe you have the completely wrong idea as well. You are thinking about ‘being stressed’ as a situation where you do nothing and are simply worried about the circumstances in your life. The truth is that ‘being stressed’ means being NOT DEFEATED from the various negative situations that present themselves in your life. Being stressed means fighting those challenges. Being stressed means coming up a winner whenever you indulge in these fights.

And that is what the future chapters are going to tell you… how to fight against the stressful situations in your life.

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Lesson Intro Video

(Next Lesson) Lesson 2: Factors that Create Stress
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