Stressing less will give you more stress.

As a mental health patient, the world keeps telling you that you need to stress less and take things easy. With a condition like anxiety, taking it easy and stressing less is rather stressful itself. Stressing less means letting things slide, not over thinking situations and just being kind to yourself. This is extremely difficult and often causes us more stress than dealing with the situation or environment itself.

Every working-class individual’s dream is to have a laid-back job, sleeping in and having time to themselves. This would be the ideal world. Once you have it, its not that great. Humans will never be satisfied with their circumstances or environment. There is always something bigger and better out there. Look at John, he can work from home and is not time managed. He is such a lucky guy. Meantime, John is not so happy with working from home and not having a time table. He is crippled with anxiety, questioning and doubting himself all the time. Is he enough? Is he doing enough work? John is not happy. He would rather have a desk job where he clocks in at 8 o’clock and leaves at 4 o’clock.

Jack has a desk job. He clocks in at 8 o’clock and leaves at 4 o’clock. He is unhappy because the people at his work doesn’t give him flexible hours. He has a boring job and finishes all his work in less than 3 hours. The rest of the day he can do as he pleases. Jack has developed anxiety too; his job is virtually stress free, but he is doubting himself and his capabilities. All my co-workers have full days and more stress than me. Am I doing something wrong? Maybe I didn’t put in enough effort with the presentation. Maybe I haven’t proven myself to the boss. Jack would much rather prefer to be busy and involved in a high-stress environment.

Mary is a stay at home mom. She has a schedule and with the two kids gone the whole day, she is left to spend her day lazing away after her choirs. She could spend time on herself and nurture herself. Instead, Mary has now developed depression. She worries about everything. Are the kids okay? Does my husband still love me? I don’t contribute enough to the family financially. I am only a burden to my husband. Maybe it would be better if I didn’t exist.

If you take stress away from humans, you are almost literally taking away the air they breathe. But what is the magical formula to balance stress and relaxation? In my world, I am used to a high-stress environment and that was taken away from me. My anxiety has increased, and my depression has taken a turn for the worst. My mind keeps racing and my body is not used to taking a time out. I believe that many people can relate. This is only a theory, but once stress gets taken away from a human, they start creating stress for themselves to survive their mind. The fortunate folk have life balanced and are in good health, mentally and physically. They must have the magical formula. They don’t. Their stress levels are at medium, meaning they have just the right amount of stress. Their bodies are used to taking breaks, being mindful and relaxing on a regular basis.

The above scenarios are unhealthy stress environments. These people create more stress for themselves to fulfil the needs of their body and mind. We all have basic needs such as clothing, water and food. Stress falls into that category as well. We all have the basic need to stress about something. Most people won’t see it as stress because the word has a stigma around it. Saying that you are stressed nowadays, creates the picture of someone racing and being a wreck. Sometimes we don’t see certain things as stress. For example, going to work in the mornings and being stuck in traffic. To you its normal, but it contributes to the stress your body is craving. However, we all have a different response to it. This is completely normal.

A few scientists in Germany did an experiment with 29 people on a roller coaster. After the study it was concluded that there are 3 types of stress response. We have the guy who freezes up. We have the guy who has constant thoughts of death and tenses up. Lastly, we have the guy who enjoys the ride. They all experienced an increase heartbeat, but they all experienced it differently. No two situations were alike. All our bodies are unique, and no 2 individuals experiences stress the same. Some of us get panic attacks while others just brush off the situation.

We all need stress to survive and we are all used to a certain level of stress in our lives. Once that gets taken away, unwanted things such as anxiety and depression set in leaving us with more stress. Employers, friends and family think that if they alleviate us from certain stresses in our lives they are helping. In fact, they are creating more stress for us by taking away our duties and responsibilities. Some people do need help from time to time to manage their stress but taking it away just leaves us doubting ourselves.

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