Managing your stress is critical to your health. Everyone experiences stress in different levels and for different reasons. Every stage of life can contain stress factors, from the adverse experiences one has in adolescence to the job, school and family related stress factors of adulthood. Some people choose to work with stress and lean into it while others avoid it at all costs. Your attitude and beliefs about stress have a profound impact on how you cope with it, and how you cope with stress has a profound impact on your mental and physical health. When stress comes knocking, which it always will, the way you handle it determines whether or not you will rise above it or fall beneath it.
The damage that stress can do to your mental and physical health is immense. If stress falls into your lap and you are unprepared to cope with it in a healthy fashion, it raises your cortisol levels and makes your heart race, which is not good for the cardiovascular system or any other bodily system. This is accompanied by negative, anxious, racing thoughts that can paralyze your effectiveness. Sadly, many people who have this reaction to stress were wired to react this way when they were very young, and statistically, many of them will never break the pattern. However, for those who are resolute in changing their thinking patterns, it is possible. Retraining your mind to fight instead of flight and be proactive instead of fall apart in the face of stress is critical to your mental and physical health.
There is a time for confronting stress and every mature person needs to equip themselves with this ability. However, there is also a time for stepping away from stress and allowing yourself some escape. Both of these coping methods are essential to a balanced lifestyle, and understanding when each is appropriate is very important. When you have spent enough time confronting stress and it is time to walk away from it temporarily, most people choose vacation. Simply taking time for yourself, away from the job or schooling or other life circumstance that is causing you stress is vital. In this free time, you can stay put or you can travel, the latter of which many prefer for how enjoyable it is.