Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The value of stress in daily life

For many stressed-out people, the idea of living stress-free at some time in the near future continues to hold a strong appeal. A vacation from all of one’s worries and responsibilities remains as an important motivator and recharger to many. In fact, experts on mental health and productivity assert that workers should take short vacations more often in order to feel refreshed and consequently more productive at work.

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The idea that needs to be corrected, however, is that being completely stress-free is ideal for a person.

The feeling of stress comes from the amygdala, a part of the brain which sends alarms to the body when some form of danger is present. This alarm is actually always on – it is present in times of life-threatening danger, and it is ringing in times when one just wants to avoid trouble. It also follows that people actually experience varying levels of stress at all times.

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There is a healthy level of stress, but it can also be in excess. The times when people experience a lot of stress are the times when they don’t pay attention to what the alarm is pointing to. It may be signaling to the fact that they’re neglecting their needs or that they’re not giving enough attention to something important.

Stress serves as a good motivator to get a person moving. Stress management, therefore, should not be directed at getting rid of stress but should instead be aimed at heeding the calls of the body to focus on and attend to what is important.

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Dr. Gary Zomalt is the owner of 3R Counseling & Consulting. Visit this Facebook page for more resources on maintaining good mental health.

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