12.05.2017 change 12.05.2017

Psychologist: Stress is energy that can be used

Stress is usually considered something undesirable. Meanwhile, it is energy that can be used. Short-term reaction to tension mobilizes the body to both physical and mental activity - says psychologist Joanna Gutral from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Stress is a state of tension caused by stimuli called stressors, which occurs in an uncomfortable situation. Being nervous can cause physiological reactions including accelerated heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, high blood sugar and stomach ache, and psychological reactions including anxiety, panic or anger.

Psychologist Joanna Gutral from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities explains, however, that a short-term reaction to tension mobilizes the body to both physical and mental activity. "Stress is a source of energy. How we use this energy is up to us. We can use it as something that will mobilize us to work and improve our concentration. But too much stress totally demobilizes us and discourages us from acting" - said Joanna Gutral.

The way we feel stress depends on whether we recognize it as a challenge or an obstacle. Beneficial stress, which motivates us act, is called eustress. The excitement and tension that we feel is pleasant and conducive to achieving our goals. When we exceed this optimal level of stress, we go to unfavourable stress - called distress. Its effect may include decrease in resistance and exhaustion.

"Research shows that in order to find a balance between positive and negative tension while remaining at the highest level of performance, we should not focus on what we want to achieve, but on how to do it" - the psychologist noted.

We should plan activities step by step to bring us closer to the goal. "In the case of a high school exit exam, we should not be stressed about the results, but rather think what we can do to prepare better for the exam" - advised Joanna Gutral.

Learning will bring better results if we find time to rest and reduce tension, for example through physical activity, outdoor activities, meeting friends. "Keep in mind that the high school exit exam is not an obstacle in our lives, but a challenge that we are capable of facing and that many people face" emphasizes the expert.

Contrary to appearances, planned relaxation will allow to achieve better results than devoting all attention to preparing for tests. If we do not relax, learning will become exhaustive, which in turn will result in worse absorption of material and translate into worse results.

When stress occurs during the exam, it\'s a good idea to do a simple relaxation exercise - close your eyes and imagine a retreating wave when you inhale, a coming wave when you exhale. Just 30-60 seconds of rest will allow to stabilise breathing and return to solving tasks" - the psychologist advised.

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