Stress, by biological definition, is the body’s natural response to challenging or life-changing events, and it is something we all experience.
There’s positive and negative stress called eustress and distress. While positive stress could be a deadline for creative homework that you actually enjoy doing can be helpful, negative and chronic stress can take a toll on our physical and mental well-being.
Usually, distress is accompanied by a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. Naturally, distress has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and other illnesses, especially when chronic (ongoing over a prolonged period, typically > 3 months. Feeling constantly overwhelmed and under pressure can be a sign of chronic stress.
Additionally, distress can lead to bothersome symptoms like difficulty sleeping, headaches, tense muscles, digestive troubles, and, my personal favourite, overthinking and getting stuck in a spiral.
If you want to contribute to your overall health and well-being, you need to manage your stress effectively.