How To React To Stress

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

Some people take stress in stride. Some people get anxious at first sign of stress. Which type are you?

Stress is a reaction.

What Reaction Should You Have to StressIt encompasses the reaction of your body when you’re placed under difficult situations that threaten or disturb the balance of your mental and physical state. Stress is considered a good thing–when you need that extra boost in a high stakes situations such as a marathon or defending your life. However, stress also likes to manifest when you become overwhelmed from situations that are out of your control.

Stress is a reaction primarily caused by your body “kicking into overdrive.”

Once your physical or mental state becomes aggravated by some form of stress, your body’s defenses start to overwork and release stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. During this process, you may feel your muscles tighten and retain an increased heart rate. All of your senses will take on a heightened state.

Bad stress causes significant damage to your health–both emotional and physical states. Your own health isn’t the only thing affected by stress, too. Your interpersonal relationships, daily productivity and quality of life all become affected by extreme levels of stress.

More than one type of stress

Stress comes in many different forms and stages, so eventually you’ll have to learn how to react to stress. Reacting to stress will help you pinpoint what stresses you out in the first place. Some people take stress in stride. Some people get anxious at the first sign of stress. Which type are you?

There’s three different kinds of stress responses out there: agitated to angry stress, depressed or withdrawn stress and “frozen” or tense stress.

Angry stress responses rile you up to the point of losing control of yourself. Withdrawn stress responses shut you down, keeping you from completing the most menial of tasks. Tense stress responses cause you to clam up, concealing how agitated you are underneath.

How to react

How to react to stress responses like those? Reacting to stress responses primarily involves recognizing when stress affects you the most. This can be difficult, because once stress manifests, it can blend into the normalcy of your daily routine. It won’t feel any different than how you usually feel. Due to that happening, stress can be a constant factor in your life.

Stress manifests within people differently, with varying symptoms and varying behaviors between all sorts of people. If you can learn how to react to stress signs within your physical disposition right away, you’ll further prevent your body from being affected by stress in the future.

© Copyright 2012 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

What Reaction Should You Have to Stress