A caterpillar goes through a natural transformation within a chrysalis to emerge as a butterfly.
Humans, on the other hand, face many natural changes through life and cope with them in different ways, depending on personal history, attitudes and beliefs. One person may fall apart because they discover the flowers they wanted for their wedding are out of season and not available, another will simply find out what flowers will be in season.
Stress can originate from many sources, including pressure at work, fear of flying, meeting timelines for projects, working or living with difficult people, being faced with a frightening diagnosis, caring for a parent with dementia and the list can go on and on.
It is our response to situations that makes the difference between being able to cope with confidence and ease, or feeling fearful and triggering the stress response.
The stress response is triggered by fear and causes chemical and hormonal changes in the brain and body, leading to physical, mental and emotional issues such as headaches, digestive problems, mood swings and poor concentration. Left unchecked, constant stress can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease.
I have always been fascinated by the way clients may have tied themselves into stressed out knots over issues and then, with a little guidance, are able to unravel their inner dialogue, and develop a different set of thoughts and beliefs that change their attitude and feelings. Suddenly what had been seriously stressful to them becomes manageable and can even be handled with ease.
Generally stress builds over time from pressure. Either one issue becomes all consuming, or a number of problems pile on top of one another to cause feelings of overwhelm or burnout.
The key is to be able to recognize what is going on with yourself, keep track of how you are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally and have strategies to follow when the going gets tough.
P.S. It can be fun to discover how someone else handles with ease what you find stressful! Ask them how they think and feel; what action they take; what related memories and beliefs they have. Then imagine that you are them, with their thoughts and beliefs and notice what changes occur for you.