Finding the Meaning of Stress

Stress is a natural and inevitable part of life. And with many research studies on stress, there are a number of conclusions supporting the correlation that stress has negative effects on our bodies. It negatively affects our health, from increasing our risk of catching the common cold to increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. This creates a negative relationship between stress and us.

Our bodies are created to aid us in many situations rather than hindering our ability to overcome challenges though, and so by practicing the M in IMPROVE of Distress Tolerance, we can all alter this relationship with stress. We can find Meaning in our body’s response to stressors. We can view our bodies as energized and preparing us for action. Our bodies have developed to increase our heart rates, to increase our breathing, to increase our alertness. We can view this as our body’s way to help us overcome any stressors we face.

If we view this as a helpful performance, we can change our relationship to see our body’s response to stress as beneficial. Changing our thoughts can in turn change our reactions for greater effectiveness.