A Different Perspective on Stress

By Nyx Fury © 2004

Stress.  It is everywhere.  It is in front of us.  It is behind us. It is there when we sleep.  It is there every waking moment.  When you think of stress you think of financial matters, deadlines, or even getting to work on time.  This is only one form of stress your body and mind deals with day to day.  Let's look at the definition of stress: ‘the force, or combination of forces, which produces a strain’.

There is a big misconception that stress is bad.  Stress is what got you where you are today.  Stress is why you are in the physical shape you are.  Stress is why you are in the mental shape you are.  Stress has gotten you through your life so far.  Without stress we as humans would have not needed to fight for our survival.  Without stress, we would not be here at all. 

Before we go any further let us look at what physical stress does to the human body as an example.  There are many principles in the health and fitness world.  Seven of these principles are the most important and widely followed.  These principles are based on how the human body reacts to stress.  When you push your body to lift weight that is heavy and/or you push your body to do something it is not used to, it will break your body down.  It causes micro-tearing in the muscle tissue, the joint and tendon tissue, and other fibrous tissues.  The next couple of days you may be sore.  While you are sore your body is hard at work building up the tissues stronger, making them more resilient.  Then, the next time you go to give your body the same stress, your muscles won't tear, they hold up resiliently against the stress.  So to tear them down again you must, put more stress on them to tear them down.  This is the overcompensation principle.  Mother Nature made you to be as strong as you want to be, by making your body adapt to stress.  It is this way with all the systems in your body.  If you cut your skin, scar tissue which is tougher harder skin grows.  But there is one thing you have to do in order for this principal to work.  One of the most important things many neglect: Rest.  Without it your body can't heal itself stronger, and then when more stress is applied it tears your body down further and further till there is really nothing left.  If you do not recover it will cause your body to become weaker.

Now let us talk about stress on the human brain.  Out of all the tissues in the human body, it is the Brain the one that adjusts and adapts the fastest.  Brain chemicals are what cause your human reactions.  Just a small change in these could cause a person to break down and cry, lash out, or have an emotional outburst.  This is one of the reasons why I feel it is dangerous to dabble with drugs that affect these delicate chemicals.  If for some reason the brain is damaged or unbalanced in any way, it has many mechanisms to correct and heal itself.  Mental Stress is the most dangerous and destructive force, yet at the same time, it can be the most productive, constructive, and healthiest engagement for the mind.  It all depends on how we deal with Stress and if we have adequate rest from it.

People deal with stress differently.  Sometimes we deal with stress by applying more stress to ourselves.  Other times we may continue to deal with the source of stress over and over without rest.  Then the stress causes physical ailments, tiredness, often leading to depression or other problems like mental disorders.  Stress can become a never-ending cycle.

Then there are those individuals who do not have enough stress, and set out to convince themselves they have an over-abundance of stress.  This in itself is destructive and, without real stress their mind will never grow any stronger; they will either destroy themselves or they will stay stuck in their own drama-filled lives.  It is an instant mechanism for most people who don't have stress to create it.  

Whether we realize it or not, both the mind and body need and crave challenges.  You might have noticed this when you’ve read something and your mind wonders off, when you have had a sleepless night with too many thoughts in your mind, or when you lack concentration at work.  Your mind has grown wary of the same stresses and wants something new and different to focus on.

After awhile the end-result of not enough stress in small amounts is that your mind becomes sluggish and your body grows lazy and tired.  The body and mind have a mechanism, very much like a computer, they go into ‘energy saver mode’ and sort of shut down the majority of processes.

As your Mistress, it is my duty to provide you with stress, push you to your edge.  Intrigue you, scare you, and make you sweat.  Then I send you back to your monotonous world filled with number crunching, computer typing, and customer relations for your rest period, so that you may be prepared you for your next visit with me.