Adapting to an environment is not always easy, and some find it more difficult than others. Stress responses are similarly varied.
Stress is often unpredictable, and for many people, it takes time for them to realise they are suffering from it.
Similarly varied is resilience in people. Some people have more than others, and are therefore better equipped to deal with stress.
However, is it possible to build resilience to stress, and to use it as a coping mechanism?
A Protective Mechanism
Just as stress is as much a physical as an emotional or psychological experience, so resilience is underpinned by the body’s chemical reaction to a stressful situation.
In times of stress, the brain’s pituitary gland releases neurohormones. This causes the adrenal gland to release adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol influences, regulates or modulates the changes in the body occurring as a result of stress, including preventing the further release of neurohormones.
There is research indicating that some people who have recovered from traumatic events have higher levels of cortisol, helping to build their resilience for the future.
Resilience is a protective mechanism, and while to what degree people have it is complex and variable, you can develop it.
Building resilience is a means of achieving a better balance between physical health and psychological wellbeing.
Much of this is down to re-thinking responses to situations likely to trigger stress. A reappraisal of stressful situations requires that you try and see them in a different context, and change your response accordingly.
Another mechanism is to explore alternatives to established behaviours, whether this is how you interact with others, or commute into work every day, or how you manage your household budget.
Approaching potentially stressful situations proactively can help build resilience, because you take an active role, rather than passively experiencing what happens.
Developing a positive self-image is also vital, as it offers a valuable source of strength when stressful situations occur.
Rather than avoiding unpleasant emotions, accept them and the fact that it’s normal to feel them, and when things appear to go wrong in one area of your life, draw on your positive self-regard to see the positives that also exist.
To do these things takes time, and people can benefit enormously from being away from their normal environment, in a personal retreat, like Ayuda House, where they can learn to relax and carefully evaluate what changes they want to make.
Living with stress is hard, but developing resilience is a means of making it less so.
If you want to turnaround your life, talk to us confidentially at Ayuda.