Stress is an unavoidable, entirely necessary factor in our day to day lives.  No one is immune to stress, but people have varied responses to managing and coping with stress.  Let’s hash this stress thing out.

Stress can be positive.

Preparing for a job interview, getting married, upcoming public speaking etc., are all examples of good stress or “eustress”.  Good stress provides a positive spin off.  It creates excitement in our lives, provides problems we can solve, and gives us great satisfaction when we are able to take actions to overcome these problems.  Good stress doesn’t pose a long-term threat; it presents situations that are surmountable and offers very positive results on our health after the challenge has been overcome.  People describe feelings of euphoria, relaxation and calm, in response to the end of a stressful event.  Good stress is something we should welcome in life.

Stress can be negative.

Negative stress can be defined as a life situation for which you feel threatened or helpless, leaving feelings of loss of control or being trapped with no solution.  Long-term relationship difficulties, chronic illness and grief are examples of negative stress, that is, stress which we cannot easily overcome on our own.  Negative stress often leads to physical and psychological health concerns.  Statistics cite that between 70 and 80 percent of visits to the doctor are stress related!  This physiological response to stress can manifest in many ways, including heart disease, memory problems, irritability, depression, anxiety, digestive problems, insomnia and many more.

So what the heck do we do about stress?

Take time to look at the stressful conditions in your life, and evaluate your reaction to these situations.  We can choose how to react.  Keep yourself busy and active, exercise, pay attention to good nutrition, and participate in stress free hobbies or activities to help you to get your mind off your worries.  After you’ve done all of that, if your stress is still overwhelming, reach to family, a trusted friend, or your doctor.   There are excellent services available to help you to cope, react and overcome.  Your WorkBC Employment Coach is a good place to ask for assistance, and organizations such as Canadian Mental Health Association offer excellent services to help you to cope with the pressures of life.




When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”
– Winston Churchill

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