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Pandemic Woes: the Truth About Stress

The Truth About Stress

Stress is something that has been classified as negative for generations. It can push even the strongest of people over the edge, leading to migraines, a weakened immune system, stomach ulcers, depression, and many other horrible conditions. For every condition, there seems to be a supposed cure. Meditation, exercise, a healthy diet, medication—all of these have been said to ‘cure’ stress, but that is wrong. There is no cure to stress. A cure implies that stress is a disease, but, if anything, stress is a motivator.

While it is true that stress can do horrible things to a person, the same can be said for anything that is taken in excess. Even something as healthy as normal drinking water can lead to hyponatremia, or water intoxication, a potentially fatal condition. The truth of the matter is that stress is only detrimental when there is too much of it. In reality, when at a manageable level, stress can be a good thing.

Stress, according to experts in psychology and neuropsychology, is a burst of energy that directs the body into action. This energy, in small doses, acts as a motivator that prompts people to complete everyday tasks and challenges. In other words, stress is that feeling that gets a person out of bed every day, that compels someone to go to their job, go to class, or study for an exam, that prompts someone to try even harder at a task. It is also the fuel behind a person’s ‘flight-or-flight’ response.

Take, for example, someone standing in front of a moving car. That person would most likely be afraid, terrified even, at the prospect of being hit by a car, but instead of just standing there, the body is already in the process of moving. In the very moment that fear takes over, their heart begins to beat furiously and time almost seems to slow down while their mind is working double time. In an instant, a single thought runs through their brain: Move. In less than a second, their body reacts, allowing them to jump away and avoid the car. That is the power of stress.

Stress can do a lot of good, but it gets a bad reputation due to what happens when there is too much. There has to be a middle ground, not too much and not too little, because that leads to lethargy and apathy. Trouble sleeping, random aches and pains, headaches, irritability, and increased anxiety are all signs that someone is reaching the point where they are under too much stress. When at this point, it is important to take measures to lower one’s stress levels to a more manageable level.

There is no definite way to manage one’s stress. What works for one person may not work for someone else, but what is important is to find something that does work and works consistently. Stress does not have to be something to be feared. Everyone experiences it and there is no way to get rid of it, so why not take advantage of it? So, for all students, college or otherwise, and workers everywhere, do not feel the need to get rid of stress. Use it to become better.

Black Coral Inc will be presenting a new art installation funded by the City of Boston called "Da Boneyard" The Installation will focus on relieving the stressors caused by the Pandemic and involves the folk traditions of Appalachian Hoodoo, Yoruban spirituality, ADOS and Afro-Caribbean influences. Stay tuned for a spotlight on each of the amazing Artists involved in this Once in A lifetime project. Help Us Save the World!


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