There will be times in your life when you need to experience stress, as it is essential for your growth. Simply put, low-level stress is actually healthy, leading to feeling engaged, stimulated, and able to experience everyday life without it feeling like too much.
As good as stress can be, there comes a point when it can begin negatively impacting your life—taking a toll on you physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.
What Is Stress?
Most things you may do on an everyday basis can be considered to be “stressors.” You were probably taught to believe that stress is a bad thing. This way of viewing stress is very black-and-white—things either are or are not stressors. Although, this is often not the case.
Take exercise for example. Exercise requires you to exert yourself, and exertion is a stressor. Yet, exercise is also a great way to relieve stress. This stress-management technique actually requires a small form of stress.
In considering what stress is, it is important to assess all of the things you do every day, even the things you enjoy. They may be, at least in a small way, stressors. This does not mean eliminating those activities, but it can be helpful to put into perspective how much your mind and body help you do each day in the presence of stress.
How Much Is Too Much Stress?
What “too much” stress looks like is different for each individual. The tipping point is largely dependent on how wide your window of tolerance—the ability to manage the stressors of everyday life—may be.
For instance, what may be stressful for you may be easy for someone else, and vice versa. One person may respond well to a certain type of exercise, while another person finds it too strenuous, leading to pain and fatigue. Check in with yourself and begin to reflect on what a tolerable amount of stress looks like for you, and how to know when you have hit your limit.
Implications of Chronic Stress
Your body is great at sending you signals that can serve as messengers that you are at your limit and need to take time to rest. They can help you see where you need to set boundaries and practice extra self-care. Symptoms of chronic stress may include:
- Decreased desire for social connection
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Unfocused thinking
- Increase in anxiety and depression
- Less pleasure in usually enjoyable activities
Learn to trust the signals your body sends you when it comes to too much stress. Honor these messages instead of overriding them and continuing to push yourself. Through understanding what stress is, reflecting on what stress looks and feels like for you, and honoring your body, you can readjust to a healthy level of stress and experience wellness.
Stress is needed in everyday life to challenge yourself, grow, and change. However, there can come a point when stress is too much, and what this looks like for each person is different. At Avalon Malibu, we are here to support you as you discover where your limits for stress are, as well as to learn new coping strategies and make lifestyle changes to create space for healing. To begin your journey, call Call Avalon Malibu today at (844) 857-5992.