Eustress or Distress? What Do You Prefer?
Stress, in general, needs no introduction, but good stress or eustress does. This mental health awareness month, let’s discover what is good stress in due course of learning about stress, its causes and symptoms, and how to beat stress in our daily lives.
We hardly have ever heard people saying, “Hey, I am so stressed out! Isn’t it great?” But I appeal to you in believing in me when I say that some stresses are good for our lives as they work as a driving force in our lives to live and thrive.
That good stress is called ̶ Eustress.
Good Stress vs Bad Stress
Stress is a feeling from the myriad of emotions we experience as humans. According to psychiatrists, good stress, or Eustress, is a happy chemical reaction that happens in our bodies when we feel excited or are engaged in a fun challenge.
And think for a while, life would be too monotonous if we didn’t have that x-factor of rush in our guts when we anticipate something good is going to happen. Take, for example, when you go for a bungee-jumping lesson (obviously under a trained professionals supervision) or when it’s your first day at your college or your date with your prom!
According to the experts, Eustress help us keep motivated, focused and excited toward our goals and good things in life.
Stress, however, when it starts to make us feel uncomfortable and hinders our daily life, is problematic and bad for our wellbeing. The accumulated (chronic) and unchecked stress can become dangerous. It can be a starting point for various physical and mental disorders.
Bad stress or chronic stress can harm you in more ways than you thought, which further can many complications in your life:
- Stress can affect your abilities to feel and manage your emotions.
- Chronic and unchecked stress can flag the green light to critical physical ailments like cancer, lung disease, hypertension, fatal accidents, cirrhosis, and severe mental health issues.
- Stress can significantly damage your heart muscles, causing incidences of a sudden and unfortunate heart attack.
- Stress can damage your personal and professional relationships.
- Your immune system gets weakened under prolonged stress.
- Stress can make you gain unhealthy fat and cause you to engage in unhealthy eating habits.
How can you experience eustress?
The sources of bad stress are innumerable and not very uncommon. However today, we will try and add some good stress into your lives by choosing activities and setting goals that make you feel good, happy and excited.
The tricky part is how to know that the stress we are feeling is good stress? Just ask yourself if your stress allows you the room to choose your feelings, whether it excites you or not? Pick the activities that don’t make you loathe them. But when you choose, make sure the activities fall into the “want to” section! And the “need to” activities are absolutely essential, so make sure you do add recreational activities to your daily routine.
Eustress can help you emotionally, physically and psychologically to feel positive emotions like motivation, healthily challenge your body to stay fit and become resilient.
How to change bad stress into good stress
It might not be possible to change all the bad stress into good stress. However, one can certainly choose to change the way they respond to it, which is well within their power. This interactive shift in the outlook and perspective toward stress can your experience of stress.
Our body responds to threats as stress. If we change our perspective and change threats into challenges, the response of fear we give to threat will change into anticipation, driving you to look for solutions.
Here is our you can shift your perception and try to make bad stress into good stress.
- Remember that you have the strength and the resilience to face a challenge.
- It might not be easy but trying to find out the best of a situation can be reassuring.
- Focus on curating resources to tackle a problem.
- Illicit outside or professional help to be able to get a positive outlook.
- Take a step back and give yourself time to rebuild your self-esteem before you begin to solve an issue.
The Bottom Line
Stress is part and parcel of our lives. It is okay and natural if you experience it. This blog outlines the importance of good stress in your lives. Above all, we learned how can we change bad stress into good stress with the right attitude.
If you feel you need help to figure out how can you bring such positive changes to your life, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and book your first therapy session online with us.
We are always ready to help you learn, grow and heal. 🌱