The animal kingdom is full of wisdom; the evolution and its eternal companion, adaptation, have produced as a result a variety of survival answers. One of these responses is stress.

We could think that stress is a negative phenomenon because on a day-to-day basis we relate it to events of that kind, but let’s think about a deer that while drinking water is alert to any movement. Our protagonist bears in mind even the slightest detail, when a predator approaches, it has to do it upwind and in a very furtively way, because any mistake can provoke the deer to run; this almost immediate reaction is due to stress.

Alberto Orlandini (1996) defines stress as the psychic response manifested by thoughts, emotions and actions vis-a-vis the threatening situation and is expressed through behaviors such as perplexity, anxiety, humor or aggression states.

We may, therefore, identify two types of stress: a good one and a bad one.

The best way to understand them is related to the daily desire we get from objectives, for example, being successful at work. If we consider success as something achievable, then it will generate stress, but the good form because we know that by making an effort, we will be able to reach it. We label the objective as something good, as something desirable, because it is something achievable. On the other hand, if an objective is considered unachievable, this will generate anguish precisely due to this perception, this is the bad stress type defined by Orlandini.

When going to school or work implies a lot of traffic, we will most likely wish not to face this problem during out commute, but realistically, it’s almost certain it will happen. This desire of not facing that problem becomes unachievable, and bad stress appears. This is the one we want to avoid.

Nowadays we know stress can cause psychosomatic illnesses which can be translated into stomach, cardiac and even mental problems. When stress surpasses and paralyzes us to the point of deciding to interrupt our routine, is when we need help; this is when bad stress has beaten us and impedes us to continue with our day-to-day lives.

Unfortunately, in our reality, we face daily problems such as traffic incidents as mentioned above, or insecurity, economic issues, family or even work related circumstances, where the natural response is surpassed by social and/or personal matters imposed to us. This sometimes forces us to seek for the unattainable, or that which is perceived as such. Before this reality, there is a chance to look for escapes and spaces where we are allowed to contribute and overcome stress in a positive and brave manner.

By Rodolfo Dragoné


Alberto Orlandini. (1996). El estrés, qué es y cómo evitarlo. Argentina: Fondo de Cultura Económica.