Stress (from the “strictus”, tight, compressed) is for “push, pressure, constraint”: a term that is vague and ambiguous but has ended up abusively certifying any form of its own feeling and feeling: anger, despair, fear, inability, agitation, fatigue. So, by abolishing every nuance of the colorful lexicon of emotion, the definition of stressfulness has become – the thesis is in Stress and other misunderstandings by psychotherapists Simona Argentieri and Nicoletta Gosio – a way of not counting on their own fragility and suffering.
Such innocuous background misunderstandings entail other small and large ones, such as the loss of the border between normality and pathology, the role of the ego in the face of the difficulties of living, the interruption of any connection between events, external and internal, in a short-circuit of too-urgent causes and effects. Especially feeds – here is the author’s first concern – the confusion about possible remedies ranging from the use of psycho-drugs to the increasingly popular anti-stress programs to promote wellness and health: two distinct concepts that today tend to be ambiguously superimposed and equated. With the unfortunate relapse – and this yes, really damaging – to make us feel weaker, unable to live and appeal to personal creativity: in fatigue and adversity as in joys. Of course, we must not underestimate the strength of the socio-cultural context that drives us increasingly in the direction of exasperated individualism, sanctioning the decline of values and the dissolution of community ties.
But what do we pursue and hurry we lose? And even more, what do we really want to get rid of? Also, how are people – they wonder – that they can cope with catastrophes without wavering, and others (perhaps the majority) who are “stressed” at every little difficulty or contradiction in life? Almost paradoxically, more people in the West are experiencing positive events, the more they impact the negative ones. To reach a reflection on the same psychoanalysis. As if this discipline was born to free ourselves from the neurosis, daughters of the repressive paradigm, it was now unexpectedly facing the damage that too much freedom – or rather, the misunderstanding of freedom – is producing. Perhaps the stress actually reflects the state of our degraded ways of getting in touch, obscures “the encounter” by highlighting all the negativities, as opposed to a oblique path with the not-said. But is not it better to recognize that study, tired work, a situation worries, a bitter struggle, etc. … focusing on specific factors from time to time in play in the ongoing conflict or in the embedded problem?
Deconstructing the term stress means then opposing that image in the dark colors of us that is constantly reconsidered: recognizing that you can continue to live, rejoice, love, be happier from time to time, with a bearable amount of fatigue and of anguish.
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