Stress Overview- What is it?

As a society, we tend to thrive on stress. It is an inevitable part of life. Whether it's from relationships, work, big life changes, money, kids, school, or just managing all of life's demands- we cannot get away from it. Stress is our body's way of reacting to difficult situations. But it doesn't always have to be a bad thing. Sometimes it can motivate us to get things done and conquer what life throws at us. This would be "good stress" when it results in positive actions.

"Bad stress" is when the stress turns into something negative. Maybe our body becomes tight or sick (i.e. headaches, stomach problems, ulcers, increased blood pressure, etc).

Sometimes our behaviors show signs of stress. We might snap easily at our loved ones, procrastinate, eat more or less, cry easily, have trouble sleeping, or engage in some sort of substance abuse.

Bad stress has an impact on our thinking too. People are more vulnerable to anxiety and depression. They may have frequent mood swings and struggle with concentrating on tasks.

As you can see mismanaged stress can have a huge ripple affect into your life. Try to do a status check on your stress level frequently throughout your week. If you notice that things are slipping into the "bad stress" category, it's time to minimize your stress and evaluate how you are reacting to it.

Keep reading this week for specific ways to handle your stress. Remember you have more control than you think- it's up to you if you are going to react to it in a "good" or "bad" way!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.