De- stress, through stress!

benefits of positive stress

The anhedonia plaguing the ideal state of existence of modern humans can be outlined in a wide variety of responses, but what regulates the basis of all this inability to live life as optimally possible as one would want to is the persistence of that general evil called stress. By wreaking havoc in our mind and trickling down well and fast to also significantly affect our health and all other aspects of the human life, the onset of stress in life ensures that seldom do we manage to live life to its fullest. From disturbing our peace and health to disrupting relations and happiness and hampering our chances of success by putting us off focus, stress is a wholesome dampener of the living pursuit we pursue with all our might. Naturally then, as we know and experience it, stress is one of the greater life evils we have to deal with in bouts of recurring encounters, sometimes more intense and sometimes less but affecting still all facets of existence in a manner that is never desirable.

In such awareness of stress that we possess, of course in both active and passive experiences of it, this is an affliction that drains out lives of our selves and therefore is always understood as bad, in whatever measure of its exertion. It therefore comes as quite a surprise when we get to decipher instead the goods associated with this unwanted but inevitable still exploration of life. To say that stress can have benefits upon us sounds very much like a proposition rested in crazy assumptions of a life exerted upon so much by stress that has led it to lose its balance in sanity. And yet, despite the many a pervading negative effects that stress has been known to yield upon humans, a lesser known reality is that stress is also essential to some extent in the context of human survival. Survival not as in sustenance, as a life free of all kinds of stress whatsoever however unlikely it might sound will not lead us to certain death out of the appalling absence of it. But more so in the manner of subsistence, or as an evolutionary ability gained as a response to stressful situations that help us emerge as more competent humans better equipped to deal with the complete chaos of many an unavoidable life sutuations.

Indeed then in helping us get better prepared to cope with other more intense manifestations of stress, an optimal amount of this notoriousness can be in fact considered necessary for life. Having to deal with stress can help make one more resilient by exposing them to the tough realities of life but of course only for those who manage to take it heads on. Dealing with stress the first instances you find yourself grappling with it can be a nightmare, that can make you more vulnerable and can even interfere with your everyday mechanisms. But being exposed to the edginess of stress on considerable occasions rather prepares you for the even greater stress laden challenges that lay along the path of life. In fact so wonderful can be the impacts an optimal amount of stress has upon the body that it can even be a factor for motivation. This has to do with the fight or flight response inbuilt in the mechanism of working of human beings which as a coping mechanism prepares you instead to deal with the intended ravages of stress in more optimal a manner as well. Thus in goading one to more efficient and accurate means of problem solving while upping their resistance level gradually when it comes to responding to stress, stress itself can be the panacea for the many stressful ills it induces. Also in building resistance and resilience of the mind, stress can even be the stepping stone to gain other positive attributes necessary for success in life or for life itself. By helping build confidence and therefore lending one a more comprehensive sense of self worth, stress can be the usherer of some of the most positive requirements of life.

Stress therefore can make the brain and mental capacities immune to the harrowing potential of its march in distinctive measure. What however can also be as exemplary a benefit of stress is that it can help bolster even the immunity mechanism of the body. This again is an evolution that the human body comes to rest in by their many interactions with stress itself. In responding to stress, the physiological awareness of the body prepares itself for the onset of any possible injury or infection through certain chemical reactions. Moderate levels of stress stimulates the production of interleukins that help regulate the immune system, thereby providing a temporary but substantial still boost to the body’s immunity. It still is the fight or flight response of the body at work that drives this rather unexpected mode of working of optimal amounts of stress but what’s even more interesting a fact to know about stress bolstering human immunity is that even the increased production of the cortisol hormone that triggers stress can be an aid to immunity! By limiting inflammation and therefore accelerating wound repair while helping prevent infections altogether is how stress strengthens immunity when experienced by the body in optimal bouts of it.

Also bolstering another of the body’s innate abilities is this trigger of the stress that we have been denouncing all along in our multiple understandings of it. Such amounts of stress that are fairly manageable can help develop brainpower and therefore aids the cognitive ability of humans. This is done by stress once again through chemical reactions that plays out courtesy its existence, this time in the areas of functioning of the brain. In stimulating the production of neurotrophins and thus strengthening the connection between the neurons in the brain, the experience of stress can lead to an extended attention span and a more vivid memory which can be such a necessary aid to productivity. It again is the response to the stress by the body, through the fore of the brain this time around that elicits the good out of what is otherwise only a spirit dampening stressful situation, to considerably increase alertness and improve performance. No wonder folks who work better under stress are an increasingly common breed of humans now.

Perhaps the most unexpected way in which stress asserts its positive impact upon the fold of the human existence is the way it impacts interpersonal relationships. Once again though it is not stress itself but the response it elicits out of people in dealing with its despairing effect that contributes to a healthy development of connection. Because relationships are spaces where people find it conducive to pour out their distresses brought about by the onset of stress, stress helps therefore to foster a healthier, stronger bond that emerges as being therapeutic in nature. It all depends on the individual approach to stress though, as those who sees the opportunity residing along the extents of it seek succour in it to navigate their way out of the mess by choosing to relying on the strength of the bond they harbour. Talking about stress while helps to offset the impact of it, also leads to development of a better understanding as well as helps build up compassion, thereby helping foster a certain emotional honesty in relationships. Also vital is the support gained out of such narrations of one’s stressful encounters that earns the stressed out the validity of an understanding of their experience and brings them therefore even closer to the ones who patiently lend an ear to them all through. It is such aspects of sharing of really personal thoughts and feelings that is what makes stress a surprising augmenter of the strength embodied in human relations.

Stress also helps in developing a heightened sense of accomplishment out of one’s pursuits. Stress itself is a psychological stemming and the many impacts it has upon us , whether positive or negative are also mostly intangible in nature. It is through this effect on the mental state of mind that stress exerts also its workings, again positive or negative on human health. And the relation that stress has in endowing with a more satisfied perception of their own meaningful achievements in life is in fact a culmination of all its other benefits. Like already stated, stress build up resilience and confidence while boosting productivity and performance through enhancement of cognitive functioning of the individual. All these are indeed vital attributes for success, attaining which feels therefore all the more fulfilling since the whole premises of such achievement is built on the efficient dodging and dealing with that one serious setback of life called stress that holds the potential to throw life out of gear altogether. Also equally surprising is the positive impact that stress can have on child development, albeit when experienced in an intensity sufficient enough to not unsettle or overwhelm the mother to be and the foetus. Stress therefore is a necessary prerequisite of a life more embedded in the clutches of meaning, emerging from such awareness and experiences that ends up making life all the more worthwhile in its many worthy challenges.

While a ‘healthy’ attribute of stress is something not readily encountered in the general parlance despite the fact that it is not something very less known of, given the fact that there even exists a term that readily imbibes all the goods of the stressful existence as eustress, the benefits of this very negatively perceived sensation hold still their ground of working. But the wonders that stress is also equally capable of as the many negatives that it rests in essentially come into manifestation only when moderate or optimal levels of it are induced such that the impacts of its assertion does not go beyond the manageable. It is largely chronic stress that tends to be harmful for humans, but when it is perceived stress that is doing the rounds of the human existence in optimal daily measure, the results can be really amazing. But what acts in helping stress to assert either the positives or negatives of it in greater intensity upon humans is the response to it, from which stems also the ability to thwart of its unwanted advances. Like everything else in human life therefore, stress is only what and how we allow it to be, making hence both the benefits and otherwise of stress no any more surprising a facet of its expression than the other.