Pros and cons of stress

A few words about stress. This word today has become very common, even in its own fashionable. Every now and then you hear: “Do not bring me to stress!”, “So now I will arrange for you such stress that you don’t recognize yours!” And so on. P. It is not difficult to notice that in such expressions stress refers to something undesirable that can cause trouble. And they don’t say that the author of the theory of stress is Canadian scientist Hans Selye (1907–1982), who published his first works on this topic in the late 30s of the last century, in the last stage of his life in many respects he revised his previous views. In 1974 he published the book Stress without Distress. Already in the title of the old concept of “stress” is opposed to the new – “distress”. What is the difference between them? “Stress” is an English word that is widely used in everyday speech when they talk about processes such as “stress, pressure, pressure”. And “distress” in translation from English means “grief, unhappiness, exhaustion, indisposition”. The distinction, it is not difficult to notice, is significant.

So, according to the final views of G. Selye, people should not and cannot avoid stress, because many factors causing stress (stressors) are the most important activators in the life of every person. Since stress accompanies almost any activity, only those who do nothing can be exposed. According to G. Selye, and idleness itself is also stress, or rather, distress. Here are some excerpts from the book called G. Selye: “Stress is the aroma and taste of life.” “Complete freedom from stress leads to death ” “Even to death?” – many may be surprised. Yes, precisely to death. After all, the body, without receiving stimulating stress, ceases to function properly and gradually begins to die.

Thus, we make a fundamentally new conclusion: stress is useful . But in cases where stressful factors bring grief, unhappiness, and suffering, they become distress. And with distress as a harmful phenomenon it is necessary to fight. And even better – to prevent its occurrence as far as possible.

In contrast to distress, the Swedish scientist Lennard Levy proposed another term – “Eustress” (the Greek prefix “ev” means “good, favorable”).

So, now everything is put in its place: any effect on the body is stress : if it causes harm, it is called distress , and if it is clearly beneficial , it is called eustress .

The question naturally arises: how to protect oneself from various distress effects, from everything that is harmful to health? Of course, a great deal depends on the spiritual and material improvement of the life of society, on its relation to nature; in many cases, various medications and other remedies from the arsenal of medicine can help. But still the greatest opportunities for self-defense are inherent in the man himself – only many people do not know about it. They do not know that nature has endowed our body with powerful self-regulation mechanisms . The ability to use the capabilities of these mechanisms is a great force in the fight against distress factors, and this skill must be adopted by everyone. In other words, everyone who does not want to become a victim of various negative circumstances, generated by our uneasy and stressful life and in spite of everything seeks to preserve and strengthen their health, is simply obliged to learn to control themselves, their mental and physical condition.

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