My Good and Bad Stress

My many forms of stress include the good and the bad. About a week ago, my motivational stress had me doing too much, as I wanted to repair my vehicle. After I semi-recovered from that physical ordeal, I was basically kicked out of my house by my wife, who instructed me to get out and go enjoy myself.

I think that these “good stressors” or things that move my gears are also instances that can put added stress on me.

Picking and choosing 'good stressors'

I find myself having to recover from recovering, which is kind of funny after you have run out of tears. Depending on my day or week, I have to pick and choose which good stressors are worth accomplishing, knowing what I have to do to recover.

A closer look at 'bad stressors'

Bad stressors are events or thoughts that are difficult to limit or control. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines stress as a constraining force or influence; a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part; a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.1

Always being in fight-or-flight mode can also have a negative impact. I have rebuked the idea that I have to manage everything I did within a day’s activity. I learned to think about and listen to what my body is telling me (i.e., the spoon theory).

In 2003, Christine Miserandino created the spoon theory metaphor to describe the amount of cerebral or somatic energy a person has available for ordinary activities and tasks. But when it comes to my recent experience of 5 deaths in the family within 2 months, it’s difficult to designate your day, energy, and physical and mental discomfort along with how long they can put you in distress.2

The ebb and flow of life with chronic pain

This, my friend, is the ebb and flow of chronic pain. Some things are in our power, and some things are not. If I am really overdoing it, and my pain level gets really high, my body just shuts down, which means that all I will do is sleep. Perhaps, a natural coping mechanism?  

It took me some time to connect the dots and link my mental and physical states to an increase in pain. I am starting off slow on the next thing that can impact the physical and mental stress levels, and that is food. This will be a hard one, but I can take baby steps.

Fewer horrible pain days

So far, after learning this information, I have been able to limit my horrible days of fetal position pain – that is the range of pain my body reaches where I just sleep curdled up for 12 hours after a pain episode. I do inculcate certain mental practices to assist with my mental stress – like meditation, listening to the music of nature, and knowing when to relax.

We have all heard about the bad stress, but how do you manage your days during the good stress?

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