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  • Writer's pictureRashidi Kabamba

Perception 4: Distress into Eu-stress

"The perfect no stress environment is the grave. When we change our perception we gain control. The stress becomes a challenge not a threat. When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events, the stress in our life becomes manageable." - Greg Anderson

For the last couple of blogs we have been speak on perception and the ability to interpret a situation according to what occurs so that it either becomes distress or eustress. Now let's recap on what perception, eustress, and distress are.

Eva Selhub and medical doctor said in her the Stress Management Handbook in order to control the stress response under control we need to have perception. "Perceived stress is the feelings or thoughts that an individual has about how much stress they are under at a given point in time or over a given time period", according to Springerlink. Perceived stress is all a mentality and how you view the stress, and it can either go positive or negative, which will ultimately determine if you will have distress or eustress. Distress is negative perceived stress negatively which results in sorrow, pain, and aniety, while eustress is positive perceived stress which results in the stress being beneficial for the experiencer. These are all a quick review of what perceived stress, distress, and eustress and what they are. Now the question remains, can you be in a distressful situation and convert the issue into eustress and make that experience beneficial for you in the long term. The answer is yes!!


Now in order to change distress into eustress you have to be mindful as to what the concept of stress management is. Stress management according to UC Berkley is "tools, strategies, and techniques, that reduce the negative impacts stress has on your mental and physical well-being." Now these techniques specifically include, going to the spa, having a friend or family to speak too, having a hobby, deep breathing, exercise, meditation, yoga, etc. All of these stress management techniques are needed in order to calm the mind-body connection while your in stressful situations so that you can change your perception on the event and make your distress turn into eustress. Now let's examine deep breathing for example.

I am going to make a series on the power of deep breathing soon and how it's health benefits are vital for stress management. Now when you practice a deep breathing technique, such as diaphragmatic breathing you are relieving the tension and build up which comes from distress. I always use the example of an untying shoe lace. When your in distress, your mind knotted and clogged so its important to find ways to calm down and relieve that stress and then your reasoning faculties kick in so you can overcome your stressful situation and convert it into eustress. Also having a support system that you can speak too that's encouraging and gives you support in times of adversity is important so that they convince you how to look at your distress as an opportunity for growth and introspection. This reduces your cortisol level extremely so that you can figure out productive ways to overcome your stress.

Ultimately, the key to converting distress into eustress is to be able to relax your mind and then feel at ease to let the distress flow from out of your mind and body. By doing this it enables your executive functioning to be intact so you'll be able to change your outlook and perception on the event distressing you. With that being said, hope you enjoyed my blog and stay tuned for the next one! Peace! :)

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