What is stress and how to cope with it

Although stress is unavoidable, it’s vital that we learn to distinguish “good” stress from “bad” stress.

Stress can be defined to anxiety created as a result of a perceived demand. Our human body is designed to experience and react to stress. When faced with stress the body reacts via the flight or fight response.

Positive stress is when the perceived demand motivates our behaviour, providing energy and focus in addressing situation at hand, with a feeling of confidence in their abilities. However, negative stress or bad stress is when a perceived or real threat impacts our behaviour in the typical flight or fight response, changing our behaviour, often with feelings of anxiety and helplessness.

Even school children are not exempt from stress, recent finds have suggested children as young as 7 are stressed about uniforms, Sats and having the appropriate accessories such as mobile phones, latest downloads and even the “right” trainers!

Exposing young children to stress will inevitable create future physical and psychological problems, just as stress that is not addressed is creating health, emotional and psychological illnesses adult populations across the UK.

During stress decision making processes can be impaired making it more likely to make a choice that could be riskier. When suffering from stress there is a decrease in productive, logical and reasoned thoughts, which are replaced with increasingly distracting thoughts, emotions and feelings.

Additionally, the greater the perceived stress the more likely is ones behaviour to become hostile, aggressive and a tendency to escape through use of drugs, alcohol or collecting possessions, commonly referred to as “retail therapy” , however, these “distracting” strategies do not remove the stress, just your attention from the current situation leading you into a false sense of security and a deepening of the crisis.

Stress is a mental process, so it makes sense to understand our mental processes operate, meditation is the more widely and effective method to deal with unproductive stress and relieve health, psychological and emotional issues.


Meditation (by Dav Panesar)