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2 Different Kinds of Stress Which Make-or-Break a Person

2 Different Kinds of Stress Which Make-or-Break a Person
    Photo credit: itsaboyd (CC BY-NC 2.0)

    When we speak of stress, oftentimes, we only think of all negative implications it brings us. However, stress is not all bad.  In fact, stress can also be good. We just have to be mindful of what kind and level of stress we are in.

    By definition from Merriam-Webster dictionary:

    Stress is a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part.  It’s a constraining force or influence.

    In simple terms, stress is a kind of pressure, force or influence that moves us to action, either physically, emotionally or mentally.

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    Stress is important because it brings meaning to our life. Life without any kind of stress will be lifeless and boring.  Stress can  make life worthwhile.

    One of the major causes of stress is work.  Imagine if we lived without working, with no challenge and pressure to attend to, or no project to accomplish. At first, we will like and enjoy it, but as days go by that we don’t do anything, eventually, we will feel like our life has no meaning and purpose.

    Our mind, body and life in general are designed to do some level of work or activity to give it meaning and purpose.

    The Two Different Kinds of Stress

    Generally, there are two kinds of stress:

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    1. Positive Stress
    2. Negative Stress

    Positive Stress

    Positive Stress, also referred to as Eustress, is often felt when we are confronted with demanding and challenging situation which we are capable of handling. Challenges and responsibility gives us a sense of thrill and excitement.

    An example of eustress is when we are working on new projects (like a promotion or business venture) or when we are entering a competition (like a sports tournament). It brings us a feeling of enthusiasm to win and succeed in the new challenge.

    Eustress is a healthy kind of stress because it motivates and inspires us in our daily life activity and work. As a result, it gives us positive feelings of fulfillment and enthusiasm.

    People who are experiencing positive stress contribute outstanding performance and output. They are the ones who enjoy what they do and they become successful in their endeavors.

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    Positive stress is a kind of stress that is essential in winning and succeeding in life. It’s a kind of stress that can make a person live a fulfilled and successful life.

    Negative Stress

    Negative stress is the “most popular” kind of stress. It’s a stress that causes negative implication such as anxiety, fatigue, depression, unhappiness and other illnesses.

    An example of physical negative stress is when we are working on many projects and responsibility beyond what we can do, or when we no longer have time to relax and even get enough sleep. On the other hand, a source of negative emotional stress is when we don’t have good relationships with the people around us.

    When we are met with negative stress, it often blocks our happiness and success and if it is prolonged, we can become emotionally, mentally and physically sick.

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    People who are experiencing negative stress are the one who always complain and feel miserable about life. They tend to become a victim instead of a victor. They have low self-esteem, are hard to relate and deal with, and have less accomplishments.  As such, they are often unfulfilled and unsuccessful.

    Negative stress is a kind of stress that can break a person’s potential success and fulfillment in life. It is one of the main killers of winning and success.

    Now that we know the two different kinds of stress, our responsibility is to be aware of the signs that shows which kind of stress dominates us and do something constructive to solve it.

    Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. ~ Hans Selye

    Remember to use positive stress as motivation to keep you moving and performing excellent work. At the same time, be mindful of the negative stress that may paralyze you. Know how to maintain an appropriate balance between the two.

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

    If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

    One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

    Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

    In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

    Why you can’t sleep through the night

    The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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    Stress

    If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

    Exposure to blue light before sleep time

    We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

    While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

    Eating close to bedtime

    Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

    Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

    Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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    Medical conditions

    In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

    The vicious sleep cycle

    The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

    Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

    You get a bad night’s sleep
    –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
    –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
    –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

      You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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      How to sleep better (throughout the night)

      To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

      1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

      What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
      • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
      • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
      • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
      • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

      2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

      What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

      • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
      • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
      • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
      • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

      3. Adjust your sleep temperature

      Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

      Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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      Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

      Sleep better form now on

      Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

      I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

      As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

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