What is Stress/Distress?
Often we use the term ‘stress’, when we actually mean ‘distress’.
Distress is negative stress that leads to negative physical, mental and emotional symptoms.
Distress can be short term or long term, and is quite subjective (only the person experiencing it can gauge its severity).
What is Eustress?
Eustress is positive stress.
I like to think it is the motivation and purpose that gets us up in the morning, and gets things done.
We know when we are motivated by eustress – its feels energising, and exciting.
- Motivates us
- Gives us focus
- Is generally short term (gets the current project completed)
- Feels good – energising and exciting
- Actually improves performance
What is Overwhelm?
Overwhelm is explained as being overcome with a strong emotional feeling/effect.
Negative overwhelm can be felt as a mixture of depression and distress.
Not all overwhelm is negative though, we can also be overwhelmed with positive feelings too (e.g. being overwhelmed with love for someone). Of course, this is non pathological, we want to increase these feelings!
Symptoms of Stress and Overwhelm?
This is an overlap of the symptoms of overwhelm and stress, as they tend to go hand in hand.
Often people will feel:
- Extreme sadness (common with overwhelm)
- Fear, anger, anxiety or guilt
- Become physically ill and/or fatigues
- Reduced or lost ability to act rationally
How Do We treat Stress and Overwhelm?
Treatment will depend on the severity of the stress, and the negative consequences.
We will always work together to reduce the symptoms of stress and overwhelm, and get to the root cause of the feelings.
We will identify triggers, which might be internally caused, such as:
- worrying about the future
- Repetitive thoughts
- Fears (e.g. flying, heights, socialising with strangers, new places)
A trigger might also be habitual behaviour patterns, such as:
- Overcommitting – are you packing your schedule too tightly?
- Loose boundaries – who do you need to say ‘no’ to?
- Lack of preparation
As discussed, stress is a normal part of life and is motivating us everyday. The aim is to manage the amount of distress we have, so the majority of stress we are feeling is eustress.
Herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, dietary planning and lifestyle changes will be part of the prescription to help you relieve this distress and overwhelm, help you take control of your life and return to a state of eustress.