Stress especially shows up when individuals cannot meet the demands they face, or are afraid of not being able to do so. Such situations cause excess pressure. Long-term stress is harmful to health. It can only be overcome by getting to the root causes and adjusting one's behaviour accordingly.
In this context, it's worth asking what stress actually is, how it develops and whether it can be avoided. Stress develops whenever we are unable to cope with the demands placed on us or believe we are unable to cope with them.
When we experience stress, the body's reaction is to make us ready to fight or take flight: The body makes as much energy and oxygen as possible available to enable us to do this. When we were still hunters and gatherers, this fight-or-flight response was essential to survival. Today, though, since we neither have to run away as fast as possible nor fight anybody, the energy made available by the body is not used. Over the long term this can lead to health problems.
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While the body's reaction to stress is natural, and everyone experiences the same thing, different people make different assessments of the demands placed on them: The same demand will trigger a stress reaction in some people but not in others. On the one hand, there are external demands such as the requirements of work or looking after the children; on the other, there are a person's own wishes and needs.
If you are sure of being able to cope with a demand, a stress reaction is not triggered. However, if you don't have the resources (knowledge, training, health, family, friends, colleagues or money) required to cope with the demand, a physiological stress reaction occurs. Stress reactions can also take place when your view of the demands placed on you is distorted by excessive self-doubt or insecurity.
Chronic stress reactions lead to physical problems:
If we are to stay healthy and avoid developing diseases, it is essential to be able to deal with stress successfully. It is worth being clear about what your goals and desires are and knowing how much strength and energy you can and want to invest in them. It may be necessary to postpone the achievement of a goal if you notice that you don't have the energy for it.
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