Christian Stress Release

What Is Stress Really – Bad Stress (Part 3)

Woman with hands in her hair, head down, stressed out

Bad stress is the stress we’re used to – it’s crippling and debilitating

The Science of Stress

We’ve talked about the Spectrum of Stress, the good to bad stress that you experience in this life. This is the spectrum your nervous system goes through when you face challenges in life.

 

In this post, we’re going to talk about bad stress. These are the states of Moderate and High Stress; the ones you’re used to talking about.

The stress spectrum includes 4 types of stress from good stress to bad stress

Bad Stress

There are 2 types of Bad Stress that you experience in this life:

Moderate Stress (Hypervigilance)

When your brain senses that you’re not safe and need to be on guard, you’re in the state of Hypervigilance. This is the state of Moderate Stress (or Distress).

 

This is where your nervous system is unbalanced and overwhelmed. You feel like everything is too much, you can’t handle it and are close to flipping out of control.

 

In this state you’re physically on guard, alert, hearing and seeing every sound and sight. You’re also unable to focus on the task at hand.

 

Physiologically you may be experiencing an increased heart rate, faster breathing, sweaty palms, etc.

Woman in a panic attack, stress can include the bad stress of hypervigilance

This is not a panic/anxiety attack, but the hypervigilant ramp up to one. When you think of stress, this is often the state you’re referring to. It’s the not ok’ness that you feel when things are getting out of control. Yet you’re still somehow able to manage life.

 

The outcome is that your body and mind is on alert and on edge. Everything is affecting you negatively, you’re sensitive to everything and you feel one problem away from blowing a gasket.

Woman in a panic attack, stress can include the bad stress of fight, flight and freeze, also known panic/anxiety attacks (or PTSD triggers)

High Stress (Fight, Flight, Freeze)

When your brain senses that you’re not safe and need to be active, you’re in the state of Fight, Flight or Freeze. This is the state of High Stress (or Anxiety).

 

This is where your nervous system is unbalanced and in the state of survival. You’re experiencing a panic/anxiety attack, or trauma trigger.

 

In this state you’re physically hyperventilating, distracted and convinced the world is trying destroy you. You’ll do anything to stop the noise in front of you, so that you can be ok.

Physiologically you may be experiencing an even higher heart rate, even faster breathing and paler skin. This also comes with shortness of breath, tunnel vision, sweaty palms, upset stomach, loose bowels, etc.

 

You move into the state of High Stress for 2 reasons:

  1. When you live in the state of Moderate Stress for too long.
  2. When bigger things come your way in life. These could be physical or emotional, and are too much for you to handle.

 

This is not the clinical diagnosis of Anxiety, but the anxious state of the nervous system to protect you from danger.

 

In the next post we’ll take a deep dive into the differences between Fight, Flight and Freeze. This will help you understand the state of High Stress even more. From there you can find the right resources to help you get out of it.

Is Bad Stress Bad?

Both kinds of bad stress, while difficult to live with, keep you safe, protected and alive in this world.

 

We’ll explore how that all works in later posts. For now, just know this:

 

This world is evil. Satan is always trying to steal, kill and destroy you. God designed you to have self-protective mechanisms imbedded inside of you. This keeps you alive in this world.

 

These states of bad stress aren’t helping you when you’re not in physical danger. However, they are there for a reason. God didn’t mess up in how He designed your brain. Satan just knows how to manipulate it to keep you stuck and stressed.

 

The way to come out of this bad stress is through mental health. This includes both knowledge of how it works and the techniques (resources) to help rebalance it. These techniques are designed to bring your nervous system back to the state of Rest and Digest (the good stress of No Stress).

 

You can learn about mental health and use techniques to rebalance yours in the Membership here.

 

In the next post we’ll discuss the 3 different variations of High Stress, known as Fight, Flight and Freeze.

 

I’m praying for you

   – L aura

Want Laura On Your Blog?

Hey Beautiful Lady,

I’m currently moving across the country and unable to give the weekly podcast, blog and newsletter emails the attention they need and deserve. As such, I’m postponing them until Tuesday (6/4). If you need help healing, you can find links for Practitioners here. I’m praying for you 🤍

Laura