Updated: Sep 5

Dr. Valerie Maxsam, PsyD

August 24, 2021


And the Survey Says . . .

In 2011, the Annual Stress in America Survey revealed that most Americans felt that

their coping skills were inadequate, with the nation being considered to be at risk for a

“stress-induced public health crisis” [1]. Almost a decade later, the same survey again warns that the U. S. is in the midst of a mental health crisis due to high stress levels and people’s inability to effectively manage stress. In fact, one in five people reported that their mental health was worse in 2020 than in 2019 [1]. Therefore, having adequate coping strategies for managing stress is a must.

What is Stress?

Less than 100 years ago, the term stress did not exist. It comes from the Latin derivative, strictus, which means to draw tight. The Middle English version of the word distress means hardship or difficulty placed upon someone [2]. Finally, the prefix ‘dis’ has roots in Latin and means bad [3]. By the 16th century, the word distress was used to denote a physical injury. The first account of the term being used to describe a combination of external and internal responses appeared in the Statistical Account of Ireland (1814 –1819) written by William Shaw Mason (1774-1853) [2].

External responses to stress typically arise from stimuli in the environment. In contrast, internal reactions to stress are most often contributed to relationship difficulties [4]. Eustress is considered good stress and distress is considered bad stress.

Examples of Good Stress

  • Getting married

  • Graduating from school

  • Having a baby

  • Buying a new house

  • Receiving an award

  • Working out

Examples of Bad Stress

  • Demanding work environment

  • Experiencing symptoms in your body, e.g., stomach pains, headache

  • Arguments

  • Unexpected expenses

  • Death of loved one

  • Divorce

How to Manage Stress

To effectively manage stress, you must use coping strategies. There are two types of coping strategies: emotion-focused coping strategies and problem-focused coping strategies. Here at TRANQUILITY HOT TUBS & MED SPA we teach you how to effectively use emotion-focused strategies. Our approach to stress management is that you control what you are able to control and to the best of your ability, let go of the rest.

Emotion-focused coping strategies place the control of stress management in your hands regardless of the problem.

There are several videos and online resources that can help you learn how to use emotion-focused coping strategies, HOWEVER, they are general in nature. You, by all means, can access these resources or you can make an appointment with us.

We will help you identify the most effective way to use emotion-focused coping strategies based on your specific situation. We will walk with you through the process of learning to better manage negative stress.

DON'T WAIT. Click the button to send an email to a member of our team. We will respond within 48 hours.

IF YOU FEEL SUICIDAL CALL 911 or the SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE at 1-800-273-8255 or click the picture below to be taken to NSPL website.

1. American Psychological Association Stress in America: Our health at risk. (2012, January 11).

2. Robinson, A. M. (2018). Let's talk about stress: History of stress research. Review of general

psychology, 22(3), 334-342.

3. Bienertova‐Vasku, J., Lenart, P., & Scheringer, M. (2020). Eustress and distress: neither good

nor bad, but rather the same? Bioessays, 42(7), 1900238.

4. Sewart, A. R., Zbozinek, T. D., Hammen, C., Zinbarg, R. E., Mineka, S., & Craske, M. G.

(2019). Positive affect as a buffer between chronic stress and symptom severity of emotional disorders. Clinical psychological science: a journal of the association for psychological Science, 7(5), 914–927.

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