Reduced to its most essential and most consequential points, here’s the absolute beginners stress management training course:
1. When we perceive a physical or emotional stressor, our body reacts immediately by producing the natural stress response, which is a vital survival mechanism. After the threat passes, the body returns to its normal state.
2. In contrast, the chronic stress response continues beyond the immediate threat, therefore exposing us to emotional and physical health risks.
3. Most frequently, it is psychological (rather than physical) stressors that activate the stress response long enough to produce health consequences.
4. The power of emotion-based psychological states to disrupt normal stress arousal and then return to normal means that our thoughts and emotions have the power to make us sick. Effective cognitive, emotional and behavioral management of stress is therefore critical to our health.
5. Intentional management of stressful thoughts and emotions decreases the risk of prolonged activation of the stress response and increases the effectiveness of behavioral responses to stressors.
My even shorter summary: practice safe stress.