Stress 與distress

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17/03/2014

Stress 與distress 毛孟靜

霎看stress 與distress,也許會有人聯想like 對dislike、agree 對disagree 等,恰恰掉轉,都是相反詞;那stress對distress 也是一樣吧? 錯了。Stress 壓力, 要對de-stress,去掉壓力。

一套語文經過世代浸淫,不可能逐字逐句都一板一眼。知道stress 是壓力,又會覺得distress 似乎是差不多意思吧。不,很有點分別,distress 指(很大的)痛苦丶悲傷以至災難。一般說來,distress 比stress 重一點、「大單」一點。譬如說,有愛的人過世,就會用distress。

His death is a great distress to the whole family. 他的死,對一整個家造成很大創傷。

Distress 亦時時用於災難:

例︰ The earthquake caused widespread distress in manycities. 地震在多個城市帶來莫大傷痛。

例︰ The ship’s captain sent out a distress call during thebig storm. 船長在大風暴中發出求救信號。

不過要記得,一句I am helping a friend in distress,固然可以是朋友出了大件事,但亦可以不過是小麻煩,像丟了錢包搭不了車回家,是故不必一見distress 就大驚小怪。

總的來說,幾乎任何扯上distress 的人事物,都是負面的,包括distressed securities 臨近破產的證券;就除了distressed jeans——故意褪色破爛、至用沙紙磨穿以看來有型有款的牛仔褲!

回說stress。可還記得坊間一句流行語: 「有壓力,未解決」。壓力,通常是期望解決得到的,像趕功課限期deadline,就有stress,但趕過了,stress 也就沒有了。有說壓力會殺人,但一樣有這句名言:

It is not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.

會殺人的不是壓力,而是面對壓力的反應。所以心理學中, 除了教人「壓力管理」stressmanagement,更提出healthy stress, 「健康的壓力」,解作做事的動力:I work best under stress. 在壓力下,我會做得最好。下次若聽得朋友埋怨說:I’m stressed out.不妨提他一句:Perhaps you perform best under stress!

隨口一句No stress,等於No problem、no bother;指「沒問題、沒事」。例︰ No stress. It doesn’t bother me at all. 沒事。我一點也

不覺得有問題。面對stress 與distress,通常只有兩個選擇:fight orflight,是抵抗面對,抑躲起逃避。人各有志罷了。

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