Resilience In Stress

Our bodies are designed with certain mechanisms that allow us to be at peak performance when threatened or under attack. In our modern society it’s rare that we have these sorts of threats, but those mechanisms remain. The idea is that when the perceived threat goes away so does the response. When the perception of threat is more constant, though typically less intense, or the response does not go away we call that stress. Stress is something we all face at one time or another, however we each have different responses to stress. The way that our bodies react in stressful situations or under consistent pressure varies from person to person.

It’s important to be able to recognize early when you are stressed. The earlier you recognize the signs of stress in your life the easier it will be to address them. When stress goes on for a long time the stressors can become engrained in our daily lives and be very difficult to remove. It could even temporarily cause more stress to remove the stressors when they have become too engrained. Learning what to look for in yourself or the changes in your behavior when you are stressed will improve your resilience to stress by letting you address it sooner.

Stress doesn’t have to take you by surprise. Even before you notice the signs of stress in your life, there are things that you can do to build up a resistance and improve your resilience when the stress does come. These strategies set you up for success when the stressful times come and allow you to see them as an opportunity.

It is important to be able to recognize the signs of stress early on. The earlier you recognize it the easier it will be to address it and deal with what is causing the stress. These steps to improve resilience are things that you should start doing now to help build up a resilience for when stressful times do come. When that does happen remember that it is ok to ask for help. Talk to a health professional if stress is affecting your well-being, you feel you cannot manage the stress you’re experiencing, or stress has caused you to engage in or increase substance use. Seek appropriate care if stress is harming your relationships or ability to work. If you have suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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