Have a look at the pic.
A four coloured juggling ball.
We’ll call it a ‘stress ball’ for the purpose of this illustration.
It shows progressions of stress in our own experience.
The illustration is oversimplified, but may help to illustrate a complex dynamic.
The yellow area represents insufficient pressure which can lead to boredom, rigidity, monotony, clock watching, or ‘under-stress’.
The green zone represents appropriate pressure which brings with it the opportunity of creativity, aliveness, productivity, profitability, resilience and ‘prehab’. (We’ll look at prehab shortly.)
The red area represents excessive pressure leading to high anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, self-medication through alcohol or drugs or whatever, breakdowns in relationships (‘over-stress’) and leads to
the blue zone which represents the blues, burnout, depression, mental illness, the need for prescription medication, therapy and ‘rehab’.
Stress is neutral.
It’s just the excessive pressure (or in some cases the lack of pressure, through say unemployment or illness) that can tip us into the need for rehab …
(This is an edited excerpt from my book A Lawyer’s Guide to Wellbeing and Managing Stress published by ARK Group in 2015.)