How to Deal With Distress?

Stress is a common occurrence in everyone’s life. But if your stress often has a more profound effect on your daily life, you may be experiencing distress.

Distress is a negative stress response that triggers the emergence of non-specific symptoms both mentally and physically. High levels of psychological distress are indicative of a mental health disorder and may reflect common mental disorders such as anxiety disorders and depression.

How to Deal With Distress?

Distress is also known as psychological stress or mental stress. This type of stress is usually triggered by feeling overwhelmed by excessive demands, loss, or threats.

Because the symptoms of distress can also be felt physically, people who experience it are at risk for serious health problems such as those cancers. Distress can affect the way a person thinks, feels, acts, and makes difficult decisions.

The term stress, which is widely used so far, is actually more appropriate to describe distress because basically stress itself is not all the same.

Difference between distress and eustress

Some of the types of stress you face in life aren’t all bad. In fact, a positive stress response can be healthy. One of the beneficial types of stress is referred to as eustress.

If distress is stress with a negative response, then eustress is stress that leads to a positive response.

Eustress is the opposite of distress and refers to any type of stress that is beneficial both physically and mentally. Usually, eustress tends to be short-term and often pleasurable. Most people find this type of stress manageable, even motivating.

Although the physical symptoms of eustress can resemble distress, such as feeling nervous, heart palpitations, or racing thoughts, the feelings they trigger can be different. Distress makes a person feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed, while eustress makes you feel excitement or a sense of anticipation.

Positive stress is something that can be beneficial for overall well-being because it can trigger optimism and enthusiasm for life. If distress can interfere with or disrupt your daily activities, then eustress can empower you in three areas:

Emotionally: can produce positive feelings of satisfaction, inspiration, motivation, and achievement.

Psychologically: helps build feelings of self-empowerment by increasing efficacy, autonomy, and resilience.

Physically: helps build the body, for example, by completing challenging exercises.

In some cases, distress can turn into eustress. For example, when you lose your job or break up a relationship, even though it feels disappointing at first, changing your perspective can be seen as an opportunity to change and develop for the better.

How to deal with distress

Uncontrolled psychological pressure needs to be treated immediately because it can endanger health. Therefore, you should immediately see a psychologist or psychiatrist to help evaluate the symptoms you are feeling.

If needed, the psychologist may offer you special therapy to better manage the negative stress response, while the psychiatrist may prescribe medications that can improve the brain’s response to stress.

In addition to medical treatment, there are also some natural steps you can take to deal with distress, such as:

1. Sports

Exercise is not only beneficial for the physical but also mentally. The reason is, that when you exercise, your body will release endorphins or happy hormones which will reduce feelings of stress and make your mood better.

2. Eat healthy food

Eating a healthy and balanced diet can also be an effective way to deal with distress. Some foods have been linked to improvement in symptoms of depression, while on the other hand, nutritional deficiencies can exacerbate a person’s condition when experiencing severe psychological stress.

3. Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep can contribute to anxiety and mental stress. Quality sleep with a sufficient duration of 7-9 hours per day can give the body the opportunity to recover from fatigue due to daily activities and stress.

During sleep, the body will make various repairs to the heart and blood vessels and re-regulate hormones and the immune system. Therefore, you should try to balance an active lifestyle and adequate sleep.

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