There are words that for some reason “get” a bad name. Stress is one of them. It seems that it is a calamity of modern western society, that we all run all day and that stresses us, and that stress is responsible for obesity, disease and our lack of patience and energy to educate children as they deserve.
In fact, if we Google the word, we find more than 36 million results, but the first ones are related to fatigue and exhaustion, for example “State of mental fatigue caused by the demand for a performance much higher than normal; it usually causes various physical and mental disorders ”.
From a biological point of view, it is a set of alterations that occur in the body as a physical response to certain repeated stimuli, such as cold, fear, joy, etc. Therefore, stress is the body's way of reacting to a challenge.
But it should not necessarily describe a negative feeling or discomfort, but also can generate a positive mental effect. In fact, Viktor Frankl maintains that it is healthy that there is a certain tension in the human being, because that It is what drives us to get ahead. Frankl maintains that in life there is always a distance between the place or situation we are in and the one we want to be in, and that tension or distance that generates a certain stress leads us to seek fulfillment. If everything were always perfect, our lives would be a terrible bore.
For her part, Marcela Lechuga Payá (Chile) clinical psychologist, specialized in Health Psychology, has contributed to reconceptualize the paradigm of stress perceived as an enemy, to value it as an ally that allows us to be protagonists of our lives. This is life, his first book is about it.
In an interview in Uruguay, he stated that “Stress is an engine, a natural resource that we have to face the challenges that life puts on us from the moment we are born until we die. Between these two great challenges (birth and death), there are other challenges: facing school, a marriage, couple conflicts, the loss of a loved one, the frustration of a dream, and stress helps to be able to transcend and face those situations that force us to grow. "
What matters, says Marcela Lechuga, is have the personal resources to face the challenge. And that's what education is about in part: helping kids develop their resources. The psychologist explains that stress in itself is not a generator of diseases, but that these appear when we do not have the resources to face stress and this becomes a threat.
The author explains referring specifically to mothers who are also daughters, companions, professionals, friends, sisters, granddaughters, and we say, “I'm stressed” when in reality stress will help us to be more efficient. It is not stress that hurts us, but we must learn, for example, to ask for help, to set limits, to accept criticism. Being an adult is not only about having a birthday, being an adult is being able to self-regulate and change to face the stress that being alive generates in us.
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