Types of Stress..Distress

Our world (especially here in the US) seems to be based on multi-tasking, hard deadlines, comparisons, perfectionism and one of using emotion cautiously. Everybody wants to make a difference and find their niche in life and that is all good and well until it interferes with your peace. The media many times will even “play” on people’s emotions..to sell the next big item, make an appeal for an important cause or try to connect with your heartstrings on a favorite series. We encounter people who know all to well how to negatively manipulate others ~while we take a toll emotionally. Then the burden of all burdens sometimes happens when Life decides to intervene with some sort of personal crisis.

Here are the definitions of distress..from Dictionary.com

1. great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble.

2. a state of extreme necessity or misfortune.

3. that which causes pain, suffering, trouble, danger, etc.

4. liability or exposure to pain, suffering, trouble, etc.

Lucky for us we have Distress Tolerance Skills we can use for a more peaceful life while under strain.

We can use the Mindfulness Skill of Observe to recognize what may be stressing us individually. Not everyone likes to look at painful stressors but it is the most effective way to get through your hardship.

Again I want to state that if your hardship is too much for you..that is okay. You can get help if you need it just ask by calling your local mental health facility or community service center. Someone can guide you to where you need to be. Just know that when you ask for help and receive it..it is a true strength of character. We have been “brainwashed” a little to think that asking for help is a shame. That is downright untrue. You have to live your life not someone else’s opinion.

So anyways Distress Tolerance is quite a list of wonderful activities you can do in place of perhaps old not so healthy habits in order to usher in more peace. For instance drinking is not a healthy activity for handling stress. People who use drinking socially while in a healthy and normal state of mind in moderation are fine here. I am talking about those who drink when they are sad or upset in any way. First of all it’s okay if you have done that but why not try some new ways to handle your stress that won’t cause addiction or be unsafe. (No shame just effectiveness here..I myself abused alcohol when self -medicating due to my illness which really hurt me emotionally). We are looking to replace our old unhealthy skills with new and safe EFFECTIVE skills.

The first few skills we learn are from Distress Tolerance Handout (1) and my own brainstorming:

Again Observe your pain first. Look at it Reserving Judgement. It is what it is.

Then distract your mind with:

Activities!

Do something you enjoy doing. Like gardening, walking, fishing, yard work, cleaning and restoring, crafting, make a meal, go out for a meal, go have coffee or tea (preferably decaf), play some games at home or online, play a sport, fix something up, pick wildflowers, collect shells, go out and make some photographs, exercise..etc!

Be Mindful In The Moment while doing these activities. Practice Mindfulness and let each thought pass by like a train rolling down the track and go back to being in the moment you are in doing what you are doing. Remember to breathe and refresh yourself.

Press here to refresh all those concepts.

Wishing you well this day

The Mindful Gatekeeper

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Peace Lives Within

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Types of Stress..Eustress

 

Stress is a part of the human experience. I find that identifying stress types can be very helpful in learning to accept passing moments with more ease.

From my research over the years I have found 3 broad categories of stress:

Eustress

Stress

Distress

In this post I want to discuss the later.

 

Eustress means “good stress”.

According to Wikipedia:

“Eustress was originally explored in a stress model by Richard Lazarus, it is the positive cognitive response to stress that is healthy, or gives one a feeling of fulfillment or other positive feelings .” Eustress is not defined by the stressor type, but rather how one perceives that stressor (e.g. a negative threat versus a positive challenge).Eustress refers to a positive response one has to a stressor, which can depend on one’s current feelings of control, desirability, location, and timing of the stressor. Potential indicators of eustress may include responding to a stressor with a sense of meaning, hope, or vigor.  Eustress has also been positively correlated with life satisfaction and well-being.”

 

Sometimes we find ourselves confused and overwhelmed because we feel stress.

Keep your mind aware by using mindfulness, the next time stress comes your way, and see if you may be experiencing Eustress.

Eustress helps a person grow.

We all have different tolerance levels to stress including Eustress. To lead a more peaceful life we must learn to identify our stress and set healthy boundaries.

 

~Wishing you well this day

The Mindful Gatekeeper

 

 

Last Step of Mindfulness…Effectiveness

Effectiveness is the last step in our mindfulness chapter. This is putting into play all the other Mindfulness elements.

1. Observe

2. Describe

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3. Participate

4. Reserving Judgement

5. Mindful In the Moment

6. Effectiveness

Effectiveness is when you “focus on what works”. (handout 3)

We acknowledge what reality is, whether we like it or not, and do just what is needed in each moment.

Remember to stay in the current moment and not moments we would like to be in or that we should be in.

It is what it is. Now do what you can do in that moment.

If strong feelings try to come into that moment let them go..like a train going down a track. Don’t jump on the train.

Reserve your judgement anddon’t cut off your nose to spite your face by judging your own judging“.(handout 3)

Keep your eye on the ball and go for it.

 

Practice:

MINDFULNESS IN THE HERE AND NOW

 

~Wishing You Well My Friends

The Mindful Gatekeeper

A Few Words…

Now my friends we will continuing on with general Mindfulness skills…but first a few words.

I want to wrap up our conversation on cognitive thinking errors. Every person is different. Some people may have milder forms of these distortions and can learn how to deal with them on their own. But for those who feel plagued by them I highly encourage you to get support from a professional. Believe me your life changes for the better. Like I have said before getting support is a form a strength. Burdens are much lighter and it changes how you think of yourself. Life becomes easier to  manage and quite frankly more joyful. It helps to live realistically. Learning to accept reality for what it is and being okay with that reality just encourages peace.

No one is saying that you have to like your reality. The way we change our life is by accepting where we are in life first. It is what it is and now I can relax..is what I say. Then you go from there. Then you make change. Sometimes we don’t know how to accept because life is very painful and we can’t look at the truth without serious distress. If you are in an abusive setting causing you distress the best thing to do is to get out as soon as possible..don’t stay in that kind of situation. Otherwise if you are in pain due to life’s events or a possibly substance abuse or chemical imbalance then admitting you need some help is accepting the truth and very healthy. It’s not so scary. The people are there to help while becoming safe and trusted sources that you can share your thoughts with…even if your thoughts seem overwhelming or uncomfortable. If your willing to help yourself you will find more peace.

~Wishing you well today

The Mindful Gatekeeper

Reserving Judgement…Over Generalization

Over Generalization  is when a person sees a single negative event as a never-ending pattern.

If you have a date and it doesn’t work into a relationship you may say” I will never find the right person for myself..I will never get married”.

Or

This person is ignoring me. They always ignore me. I will never be heard“.

I didn’t get the job. I never get the job I want“.

In this case look at the facts then add a cheerleading statement behind it.

Okay so the date didn’t work out. I can always try again“.

Or

This person seems to be preoccupied. Maybe I can come back at another time and ask. It’ s great that I can see the truth here and let this moment just be what it is and not worry anymore”.

“So I didn’t get the job this time. But I am going to keep trying and eventually I know I will find a job I enjoy”.

~Wishing you well this day

The Mindful Gatekeeper