04 March 2004

Is all stress bad for you?

In life, there is positive and negative stress. Read on to find out whether the stress in your life is toxic or good for you.

Not at all! We need stress to thrive, excel and enjoy life! This is called positive stress. But even positive stress can become negative if not balanced and managed correctly. Our goal is to aim for a positive stress phase.

Signs of positive stress:

  • Increased creativity - not only in making or creating things, but also in developing new ways to solve problems or finding better ways of doing things.
  • Increased productivity at work and on a personal level.
  • A general feeling of wellbeing, happiness and joy - which is how we should feel. It is our birthright to lead happy, fulfilled lives during our physical sojourn on earth.
  • An immune system that functions optimally, with an increased resistance to infections and cancer. Even if you're surrounded by people with all kinds of germs, you simply don't become ill. People in remission from cancer come to realise what is important to them in life and experience an inner growth and development, which often leads to physical healing. Even people who eventually die of cancer or other diseases, gain an awareness of the temporary nature of the physical body as opposed to the soul that lives forever. This realisation that the spirit lives on leads to a feeling of inner peace, happiness and wellbeing, which signifies health.

The warning signs for going into negative stress:

  • Reduced productivity and creativity: Nothing works the way it should. Everything is too much for you. You cannot find the solutions to problems. You are afraid of making the wrong decision, so you end up not making any decision at all. You are unable to concentrate or remember things. Depression starts in much the same way.
  • A reduced feeling of wellbeing, joy and happiness: You no longer enjoy anything. You don't look forward to anything. Everything is a burden. These symptoms can be precursors to depression unless you take the necessary precautions timeously.
  • All sorts of unfortunate things happen to you. You become so preoccupied with the daily stress of living that you are unable to focus or concentrate. This leads to car accidents; you drop and break things or lose them. You cut yourself or break an arm.
  • You start avoiding social contact. Avoiding people for long periods of time is also a sign of depression. Remember that socialising is one of the basic human needs.
  • Reduced resistance: Your immune system functions poorly and you suffer from colds, flu, allergies, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue, anxiety attacks and all the diseases already mentioned - unless you take the necessary steps to restore your equilibrium.
  • Your organs and systems start to fail and physical disease processes start.
  • The ageing process accelerates because of the increased metabolism associated with uncontrolled stress. Free radicals and other waste products accumulate and cell activity deteriorates, resulting in premature ageing.

Listen to your body!
If you’re experiencing signs of negative stress, listen to your body, mind and feelings and take a break. This will prevent the down spiralling process of your health and wellbeing.


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