Coronavirus and The Stress Test


The Stress Test, designed to determine the capabilities of a person or a thing under extreme conditions. To bring this point home you can look at the recent events of the coronavirus and the negative impact that many are experiencing because of the fallout. Conflicting messages from doctors, local councils, the government and the world health organisation are creating havoc with people’s health and wellbeing.

On a personal level, even though we as human beings can’t completely eliminate stress from our lives, we can learn and incorporate sound ways to manage and prevent much of the stress we experience in our lives. However, what most of us don’t realise is that a lot of the stress we encounter is self-imposed. We contribute to our own stress when we don’t plan ahead, cheat ourselves on sleep, work too many hours, ignore relationship problems, and sit on the fence when it comes to decision making.

Now let’s focus on two types of Stressors

Intense stressors are situations that come and go over relatively short periods of time. These might include navigating traffic during rush hour, completing your tax returns by a certain due date, trying to meet a tight deadline at work etc. Intense stressors are common and although whilst going through them we might feel uncomfortable we generally tend to regain our physical and emotional balance shortly after encountering them.

Persistent stressors affect us over a prolonged period of time. Examples would be caring for a family member with a serious disability, being laid off due to covid, being furloughed and experiencing financial hardship or losing a loved one after suffering a prolonged terminal illness.  Persistent stressors can wear us down and even make us ill if they go on long enough by compromising our immune system and impacting our health.

My personal opinion is that The Stress Test is designed to build character and highlight the untapped skills, talents and abilities that we have lying dormant inside. If we go back to my opening example and look at the impact of the coronavirus example as tragic as it may be, there are many lessons to be learned and good practices to be implemented, which would undoubtedly save lives and improve health and wellbeing.

On the human level, one could argue that stress and The Stress Test is a necessary evil on the journey of getting to where you want to be. The Stress Test is part of your preparation, it’s training you and developing your character to be the person you need to be, to do the job you’ve been called to do.

That said it’s amazing that when the stress comes many will say that they did not sign up for it and want to quit. When you’re under stress, take the stress for what it is, your opportunity to learn and grow. For example, a boxer when hit under a barrage of punches, can be said to be under immense stress at that moment. However, he can decide to throw in the towel or he can exercise a few options. Drop to a knee and take a standing 8 count to catch his breath, hold onto his opponent for dear life or simply default to evasive action.

The choices he makes at that moment will ultimately determine the outcome of the round. We too have choices when put under stress. My question to you is “What are you prepared to do to be victorious?” 

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