Stress: The Veps helps you respond appropriately to stress
What is stress? What are its effects?
Stress is the root or an aggravating factor of most of societies’ illnesses. Where does stress come from?
Either pressure, or fear:
- Work-related pressure, rhythm change, performance constraints, more often in the world of work, but also in social contexts.
- Fears, either of loss (status or assets), or of not meeting expectations.
It is important to understand what stress is and how it acts on us in order to identify and adopt an appropriate de-stressing approach. Something commonly overheard is that stress is a modern-day disease which stops us from achieving harmony and happiness in our lives. In fact, it can be quite common to encounter, even in the far reaches of the countryside, large numbers of people who consider themselves to be stressed.
Stress, a good thing?
Stress is a reaction intended for our survival. Consider a cat, quietly napping, woken suddenly by the crashing of pots and pans on a tiled floor: this stress triggers a contraction of its entire being. It is ready for fight, or flight. Once it realises there is no actual danger, it quietly returns to its nap.
Stress normally induces two types of responses: a tension in the first instance, followed necessarily by a release, once any danger has passed. This requires the body’s ability to relax totally.
Why does stress become pathological?
Stress originally intended to help our survival can become pathological when the relaxation that needs to follow does not fully happen, and a level of stress-generated tension becomes permanent. Even sleep is unable to release the tension. This could be the result of a stressful event that we cannot “swallow”: a sudden bankruptcy or the death of a loved one, for example. It could also be caused by an accumulation of daily stresses that add up over the months to the point where, here too, a permanent state of tension is reached which the person can no longer regulate or release.
This permanent tension is what is commonly referred to as stress. The word “stress” which should refer to the cause, is actually now used to refer to its consequence.