Is being stressed scary and bad? Sometimes it can be.
Hi there, Silver and Marjorie here. We want to talk about stressed humans, and think this is a good time to talk because there are way too many people who are not happy right now. Let’s try to understand stress and what it really is. We also give you some stress busting tips to try.
Silver takes up the stress story:
There is much talk about stress and how it puts us under terrible pressure, and our fellow felines (and you humans) might be surprised to hear, that not all stress is a bad thing. It can overwhelm us if we are not careful and we need to know the triggers that start a downward spiral(see further down this post) but can you believe stress isn’t always bad.
“Positive Stress happens when a cat is doing something it wants to do, and which needs all its skills and resources to get the job done. The same applies to humans!”
What is Positive Stress or Eustress?
Here’s an example of when stress works to our benefit. Phoebe suggested a blog post idea to me recently. I was deep in work, under pressure, but doing something I love to do, blog for our readers! I took a breath. I had to bring into play judgement skills, assess if the post would be worth reading and check Phoebe’s spelling and incorporate it into the schedule. It was more work, but work I love. This is positive stress. When a cat or a human challenges themselves in a good way, they can do good things. But we also need to monitor ourselves as people (and cats) for the first signs when negative, unpleasant stress begins to ‘put the bitey’ on us.
“Be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone is mean to you.” Christine Arylo, Author
How do you tell when you have Negative stress?
We are all familiar with the downside of stress coming from bad times. This is Distress.
Do any of these stress triggers sound familiar :-
- Being snappy with best pals, or pets and family members.
- Nibbling nails (a human thing)
- Feeling overwhelmed – cats and humans
- Hiding away – cats and humans
- Hiding from a problem – definitely a human thing.
A cat or human can be badly stressed, or even depressed. Take care of these warning signs in your humans! You are no psychiatrist but you can encourage your human into a better mental place. Humans don’t have the luxury of hiding under the bed as much as we cats do, so they need pet help. Remember guys, there is no substitute for speaking to a vet or a Dr. if serious issues are involved, but for those temporary low moments try these tips :-
Quick and Simple Stress Busters
- Look out of the window, make sure a human is watching. Be fascinated by ‘outside’ so much so the human will go outside and look for themselves. The aim:- get them into the fresh air, maybe take a walk and get a different mental view. A bus ride to town, a visit to the library maybe.
- Get them chatting to a friend by doing funny stuff, or being super clever. The aim:- get your human to talk to someone and maybe feel less alone, especially if its someone they can express worries to.
- Be there for your human. The aim:- In the darkest moment a purr may bring balance and hope, get them through a brief sad or scary time.
References for Stress:-
The Positive Effects of Stress – HealthGuidance.org
Researchers Find Out Why Some Stress is Good for You – Berkeley.edu
Types of Stressors (Eustress v. Distress) – MentalHelp.net