by Ros Kitson
I read an article recently detailing how stress can actually be a good thing for us because it helps us rise to challenges and improve our performances. I think the author was thinking about the kind of stress we face when we're trying to achieve a project we've chosen to do. For example, training for a marathon. I found I did agree with most of the content, but as a practitioner who works with stress with clients, I was concerned that this might be giving out a message that we should be accepting of all the stress in our lives. This I definitely disagree with. So I decided to reflect on the difference between the type of stress discussed in the article and the type of stress that, if left unresolved, can make us very ill. So, how do we differentiate between them? Well, I believe it comes down to two things: choice and power. I'll deal with each in turn, although they are intrinsically linked.