Finding Your Own Personal Definition of Stress : Stress is never easy to define. Yet so many people believe that having a standard definition of stress will give them the stress management and stress relief they need. But this is not so. Stress is much more difficult to understand and define than this.
TRY THIS POWERFUL DEFINITION EXPERIMENT
Let’s consider how difficult it is to define the term stress. Give this definitional experiment a try and test it yourself. So, use the steps below and be sure to listen carefully to what your respondents have to say about defining stress.
TEST YOUR DEFINITION STEP FIRST
First, choose five people you know. Then consider asking them to give you a general definition of the term – stress. As they explain their thoughts, write down what they said. You realize that everyone uses similar words but each definition is different for everyone.
TEST YOUR DEFINITION STEP TWO
Second, ask each person to define what the word stress means to them personally. Language and words will change even further as everyone relates the term to their personal experiences and life situations. Again, write down what each person said and you will see that the definition changes again. Their words and definitions become more emotional as they become more personal.
TEST YOUR DEFINITION STEP THREE
Third, ask everyone to do this final step. Politely ask them to complete the next two sentences. Stress makes me feel (fill in the blank). I feel stressed when (fill in the blank).
Again write down what each person said. You’ll hear more words like: depressed, worried, anxious, overwhelmed, tense, tense, disturbed, overwhelmed, and exhausted. You’re now hearing more and more from people about their own personal, emotional, and unique definition of stress.
YOU NEED TO REMEMBER THIS ABOUT ANY DEFINITION
So now you have a long list of words and some definitions of stress. And that’s just out of five people. What can you find when you consider all these different definitions? Understand that one definition of stress does not fit everyone.
Everyone experiences stress in their own and personal way. Just like all stress relief and stress management methods that you use should really suit your individual needs.
YOUR OWN PERSONAL DEFINITION
So always consider the standard definition of stress as a guide only. More importantly, take the three definition steps we just discussed and use them to design your personal definition of stress. It is this personal definition that will be of more value to you than any standard definition.
YOU WILL UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT YOUR OWN STRESS
As you develop your personal definition, you will now understand yourself better. You will also have a better understanding of how to start dealing with the stress you are experiencing in your life. So, what’s your definition of stress?