Stress Management

“When a person is more in touch with his/her body as a result of paying attention to it systematically, the person will be far more attuned to what it is telling them and better equipped to respond appropriately.12 In 1936 Hans Selye wrote a very important letter to Nature magazine.13 In his letter he described “the non-specific neuroendocrine response of the body” to negative stressors. This was the forerunner of his General Adaptation Syndrome. In subsequent work, Selye used the terms “distress” and “eustress” as subgroups of his original term: “stress.”

Distress comprises the negative stressors or the previously mentioned risk factors. Eustress, or good stress, balances that distress. Examples of eustress are exercise and mental relaxation. While the body cannot physically discern between distress and eustress,14 it is incumbent upon one to introduce eustress into the workday to balance the negative stress a person encounters.

Some examples of eustress tactics that can be used are:

  • visualizing individual muscles and focusing on what each muscle is doing
  • using proper nutrition
  • improving posture
  • avoiding eyestrain
  • engaging in gentle stretching and mild exercise.

The first tactic requires a mindful approach and continual practice. Then, if the person can determine the amount of stress and strain they are subconsciously undergoing, they can limit their musculoskeletal discomfort.