Dealing with stress in today’s world.
Stress is the body’s natural response to danger, whether real or perceived, catastrophic or inconsequential. In the short term it can be beneficial – such as the fight-or-flight response. Stress actually prepares your body to face a threat or flee to safety. This kind of acute (fleeting) stress is unlikely to cause significant health concerns. Even in situations that are not life-threatening – such as participating in a job interview or taking a test – stress can motivate us toward success. However, chronic (long-term) stress is a different story.
The signs of chronic stress are well documented, and they can affect us mentally, emotionally, and physically. For example, your mind may feel overburdened by endless worries which can, over time, increase your risk of mental health disabilities. Protracted stress also makes us feel irritable, angry, or sad, and increases the chances of depression. Finally, physical effects of stress range from feeling hot and jittery to insomnia, chronic headaches, digestive issues, and hypertension. Clearly, prolonged periods of stress are not good for us.
Stress is mentally exhausting. And this year – the entire year – has provided no end of temptation for us to experience stress from multiple sources. From COVID-19 fears to the uncertainty surrounding this year’s elections, 2020 has been an unusually stressful year. If you are looking for some suggestions about how to deal with exhaustion due to uncertainty, political polarization, and the spread of misinformation, you’ll want to read this article from Fast Company: FULL STORY