Good Stress / Bad Stress
Positive-Negative Stress Factor By Michele Meiché


It is estimated that 75% to 85% of all medical problems are related to
stress. So what does this mean? Some would say, get rid of stress!
However, we actually need stress in our lives or we remain in inertia.
And, there is positive, and there is negative stress. A certain amount
of stress is needed for the body to even physiologically function. In
order to rise from bed in the morning we need the stress to not only
mobilize the body, but our thought processes. In this sense, stress
can be seen as a response to the demands put on the body and mind.

Stress propels us in life; it is a motivating factor. Stress is the initiative
that allows us to accomplish tasks, set goals, and create projects. In
this way, we can say there is good stress and bad stress. Negative,
or bad, stress is actually called distress because it connotes a strain,
or too much demand on the body or mind. This distress can be caused
by, or exasperated in, times of loss, transition, and change.

If we look at this from a global level, our world is going through a lot of change. On some level of consciousness we feel this change. We may
not be directly affected, but we sense the uncertainty and are affected
by the results. This period of transition, and the changes that ensue,
trickle down to us all personally. And when we are in the midst of our
own individual transition or change, the distress becomes even
more compounded.

Distress has been has been researched since the industrial revolution.
Since that time it could be said that the challenges that individuals
now face are too abundant for our mental and physiological makeup.
These stressors can include: environmental factors, economic
influences, food additives, job related stress, traffic increase,
population increase, neotoxins, uncertainty of the future, breakdown
of family values and dependence on the family and community structure.

Stress can also be seen as an organism’s inability to adapt to rapid
change, or what one considers rapidly changing circumstances.
Some authorities state that we, as an organism, are not equipped
to handle this new level of distress. Others believe that we are
developing, evolving if you will, because of the changes within life
and daily living. Construed in this concept is the notion that we all
have the function to handle stress. I agree with this latter viewpoint.
The solution is not in eradicating stress. The key factors to the solution,
or the handling of stress, are: first, awareness, and second, useful
tools or a system to individually handle the personal condition.

From a holistic health viewpoint, awareness means finding out through appropriate means what are the components of stress in one’s life. This brings in the concept of educating oneself on the integrative tools that enable one to learn how to alleviate, or cope with stress. An integral
part of awareness is creating a plan to balance the negative/positive
stress factors in one's life. What does one see as positive stress (motivation), and negative stress (Distress)? Once you are aware of
this, you can then create a balance through mind set and activities
that allow for motivation and alleviation of the distress. Or, perhaps
you can't alleviate all the distress; so how do you cope?

One coping tool is isolating what enervates you. Enervation is a term
to describe what drains you energetically. These energy drains, or
blockages, can manifest emotionally, mentally, and especially physically. Ultimately the enervation is experienced on the physical level within
the body. For instance, one may begin to experience pains in the
stomach region caused by anxiety, or perhaps a general overall fatigue.
Once you isolate the energy drain (or what is enervating you), you can
make the appropriate adjustments in your lifestyle to slow, and eventually stop, the energy seepage. What alleviates the energy drain is unique to
each individual. There are basic causes; however, one must really take
their own self-inventory. I find at this point it is extremely beneficial to
have an objective, trained person to assist in this matter. Very often we don't see what we are doing that is counter productive, or even if we
do see what we are doing, it sometimes is difficult to muster the energy, focus, perseverance, and drive to follow through on the adjustments we need to make. This is where the appropriate support is so helpful.

In my practice, a major emphasis is in assisting in times of transition and change. Because of this, I see the need to assess each individual
condition and create a personal program. Once one is educated on the positive/negative stress factor, the next step is the integration and implementing of a stress maintenance program. And for each individual
it will have variations. A reorganizing, re-balancing of activities and
concerns, is important. Perhaps integrating meditation, relaxation, time
for self, bio feedback, massage, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy,
visualization, and personal development time are a few avenues one can incorporate into one’s life to promote stress reduction and well being.


Coping with Stress
By Michele Meiché

Mind - Body Connection
By Michele Meiché