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34. Stress

Updated: Oct 31, 2020

Today (writing on the 14th of October) my psychology lecture was on stress. And as I was struggling and heaving through that infamously beloved writer's block - possibly due to stress - when it presented itself to me as a blog topic, stress could not be more perfect of a blog theme. The lecture was specifically based on stress at work, but it also presented ideas on stress that are applicable to stress in all of its forms.


SIDE NOTE: I've swore and used more profane language a bit more than normal in this piece with the dropping of many F bombs. But in life beyond the blog, I am quite the aficionada of a good hearty F bomb. Therefore, expect that within this piece and future pieces on this blog for an increased number of F bombs. So fuck it, basically is what I'm saying. Okay, interlude over, back to the stressed business now.


Described as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances, stress is NOT an unfamiliar territory for any of us. And 2020 has most definitely aided that familiarity, we could even say that we're now in quarters too close for comfort with stress. Stress is in fact a physiological reaction. Your fight or flight response is triggered via a sudden release of hormones. This is where your sympathetic nervous systems stimulate adrenal glands; releasing chemicals such as adrenaline and noradrenaline. All of which increases your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate.


Humans are equipped to deal with extreme stressors. These stressors can be a multitude of things. Nowadays, stressors in our western world include: work, career choices and close relationships. As said before, we CAN deal with these stressors. We CAN get stressed out as fuck and that it can be healthy. However, persistent stress is not healthy. There are two key factors in maintaining healthy stress levels:

1) The stress must be short-term. Short-term stress produces more focus. In contrast, prolonged stress is related to a lack of concentration, poor memory, less resistance to disease and pain, muscle tension, weight loss/gain and all of that place your body into a constant state of 'guardedness'. So stress can be fantastic, as long as it is short term.


2) You must be able to recover from that stress. Virtually, you can look at this as restoring the resources that you lost during that stressful period. If you lack the resources to re-uptake what you have lost, one thing is bound to happen: burnout. I won't drag on about burnout because already I've explored the burnout territory on this blog before (cheeky self-promo, exploit the opportunities I guess), I'll link her down below if you're interested. But burnout is the result of stress and no recovery time. Stress is not sustainable without recovery.


With life ploughing ahead with what seems to be no sense of stopping or a break, let me attempt to enlighten you with ways in which can help your recovery. Assignments keep coming, there are more things that you need to buy and life keeps going. Shit happens and you are constantly expected to deal with it. To even comprehend 'getting a break' in times already so chocka can often sound preposterous. But I'm gonna to let you in on a little secret: it's necessary *shock horror, the crowd goes berserk*. Nothing is less self-efficient than working through a state of stressed exhaustion for a long period of time. Yes, you have stuff to do but you're going to be incapable of completing anything in this state. Here are some recommended methods to facilitate your recovery rate (methods that are actually psychologically endorsed because they enlightened me in my psychology lecture):


1) Psychological detachment from the stressors. This means you should disconnect and mentally switch off (from the stressors, not life please, that wouldn't be ideal). But this is important. Compartmentalise the separation of what stresses you and what doesn't. If this means slapping on some Netflix and entering a vegetated state; then so be it.


2) Relaxation. And make it active relaxation. So this could be a massage or some meditation. The elimination of external stimuli is something that most of the time doesn't happen. Active relaxation means that you will be left in the intimate relationship between your mind, body and soul. Check in and see after intense stress how everyone is doing.


3) Mastery. You can't deny that doing something that you're proficient at feels fucking great. Do something that makes you feel like a master, something that gives your ego the boost it needs to remind yourself that you are fucking incredible and more than just the beneficiary to your current stress.


4) Control. When in control, the feeling of being in control also makes you feel top of the fucking world. A self-constructed sense of order reigns supreme in the realm of top feelings. Just like cleaning your room or handing in that dreaded assignment, being in control is damn sexy. So be realistic because that promotes the occurrence of this feeling. Prioritise time in which is dedicated to recovery.


And obviously get enough sleep and limit tech use in this time!


So all in all, stress is an adaptive and automatic reaction that facilitates productivity and is not always bad! It only becomes maladaptive in a long-term sense which is not sustainable and leads to burnout. Stress in the burnout state is not efficient and leads to lower performance and productivity. So the key is recovery! Give yourself the time to actively recover from stress and bob's your uncle. If you're reading this right now, I hope you're not stressed in doing so. But if you are; recover right this second!

If you have any further questions based on this blog post or anything else in regards to this blog, be sure to get in contact with me through this website or through the blog's instagram linked below.

LINKS:

~ Link to 'Burnout': https://www.madein2000.com/post/29-burnout

~ Link for previous blog post: https://www.madein2000.com/post/33-does-everything-happen-for-a-reason

~ Link to 'Born In 2000' instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellawasbornin2000/

~ Link to 'Born In 2000' opinion form: https://www.madein2000.com/we-want-you-r-opinion

Make sure you send through recommendations, considerations and comments in regards to this blog. If you have anything that your wanting to hear, Ella is listening! Be sure to subscribe to the mailing list and become a member to receive notifications and more information.

This blog will encompass the life of a 19-year-old kiwi chica. Composed of stories, advice, life lessons, worldly observations, videos and whatever else Ella's life brings to surface.For all of this and more, read my new found blog 'Born In 2000': established on the 28th of October, 2019. Where Ella Gibson explores her life that exceeds all limitations. Publications should be expected twice a week. Take this present moment now and rock it!

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