Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Managing and mitigating stress

Back in the 20's, Hans Selye back described stress as non-specific response of the body, presenting later the GAS model dividing stress into eustress (positive stress) and distress (negative stress), separating levels that enhance human functions from persistent stress that is not resolved through coping or adaptation.
Homeostasis is a central concept and is related to the equilibrium that the human body and mind requires for proper functioning and optimal living condition. Stress is then a normal response to events that change such balance but there are many factors (stressors) in our lives that provoke change and evertime that happens, a significant effort for restoring equilibrium conditions will be put in place, consuming energy and resources.

The brain holds a critical role in perception and response to stress. Stressors- either real or imagined – trigger defenses and these stress responses are ways of protection that will help you stay focused, energetic, and alert. But stress is ultimately perceived as a subjective experience; playing an important role in the everyday lives, beyond a certain point
stress will stop being helpful and will start causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships and your overall quality of life.

Self-awareness on the sources of personal stress is an important step to managing and mitigating it. 
In neuroscience, "emotional regulation" refers the ability to deal and cope with stress and coaching does a lot of work in that area, supporting clients to be more resilient and capable in facing the daily life challenges.