Stress is a natural part of our everyday lives. Believe it or not, we actually need a small amount of certain types of stress.

Necessary stress is called eustress. Eustress is the type of stress that keeps us alert and helps us face life’s challenges, such as writing this blog or getting to work on time. Eustress can give us that extra boast to succeed in our endeavors.

The bad type of stress, or distress, results when we physical and mentally overreact to events. Distress can cause depression, hypertension, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea and nausea. Eating to much, smoking, and substance abuse problems can start due to distress. To reduce distress, we have to be able to deal with everyday life in a realistic and reasonable way.

Mental signs of distress can include:
• Anxiety and moodiness
• Feeling scared or negative about the present or future
• Sleeping problems

Physical signs of distress can include:
• Teeth grinding
• Elevated blood pressure
• Headaches
• Loss of appetite or increased appetite
• Gastrointestinal upset
• Back and neck pain
• A lowered resistance to disease (for example, frequent colds)

Distress can really harm your mental and physical health. Simple stress is a mental or physical response to things around you that cause discomfort. Any item that causes stress is called a stressor. If your computer suddenly starts acting you’ll probably call technical support or bring it to a computer technician. Your computer acting up was the stressor and trying to get the computer repaired was your response to the stress.

As you know, there are many things that cause stress in everyday life. Some cause eustress, some cause distress. Someone driving slow in front of you, pressure at work, misplacing your car keys, relationships, taxes, bring up a family, and last but not least, a long line at the supermarket. How you react to these stresses can impact your physical and mental health.

There is a three stage reaction model to explain the relationship between stress and disease. I don’t mean to leave ya hanging, but I’ll discuss these in a future blog. Peace

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