Rarely do we hear people say, "I'm in a world of stress right now. Isn't that fantastic?" However, we'd feel rudderless and miserable if we didn't have any tension in our lives—the "healthy stress" kind. If stress is described as something that disrupts our homeostasis, then good stress, in all of its forms, is essential for a healthy life. It's possible for bad stress to turn into positive stress, and vice versa.
Good vs Bad stress
The type of stress we experience when we are excited is referred to as "good stress," or "eustress" by psychologists. Our hearts race and our hormones rise, but there's no danger or terror. When we ride a roller coaster, bid for a promotion, or go on a first date, we experience this sort of stress. This good stress is triggered by a variety of factors, and it keeps us feeling alive and enthusiastic about life.
Acute stress is a different form of stress. It stems from unexpected events that necessitate a response. The body's stress response is often triggered by excessive stress, but the causes aren't always joyful and exciting. This is often referred to as "stress" (or "bad stress"). Acute stress does not have a significant impact on our health if we can relax quickly. To be safe and comfortable, we must return our body to homeostasis, or its pre-stress state, once the stressor has been dealt with.
Chronic stress or distress is a form of negative stress. It happens when we are constantly exposed to stressors that take a toll and feel unavoidable. Chronic stress may be caused by demanding work or unhappy home life. This is what we usually refer to as severe stress. Since our bodies aren't equipped to handle chronic stress, we can suffer negative health consequences (both physical and emotional) if we are exposed to it for a long time.
Benefits of good stress
Stress, according to experts, is a blast of energy that essentially gives you advice about what to do. Stress has a lot of benefits in small doses. For example, stress will assist you in meeting everyday challenges and motivates you to achieve your objectives. In reality, stress will assist you in completing tasks more quickly. It can also help you remember things.
The fight-or-flight stress hormone response is triggered by stress, which is a critical alert mechanism. When the brain detects tension, it releases chemicals such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol into the body. This results in a number of effects, including a rise in blood pressure and heart rate. Additionally, the senses gain a laser-like concentration, allowing you to escape physically challenging conditions, such as jumping away from a moving vehicle, while remaining healthy.
Furthermore, a small amount of tension has a variety of health benefits. Stress, according to researchers, will help to strengthen the immune system. Stress, for example, will help the heart function better and protect the body from infection. Individuals who had moderate levels of stress before surgery recovered better than those who had low or high levels, according to one study.
Can you tell the difference between Eustress and Distress?
Eustress is meant to make you feel good, and it does. In reality, according to Diante Fuchs, a clinical psychologist in New Zealand, "eustress" is that ephemeral flow state we're all looking for, the feeling of being "in the zone." This means we see our current circumstances as stretching and growing us, and we believe we have what it takes to meet the challenge, according to Fuchs.
This type of stress excites us, motivating us to solve problems and achieve new heights of achievement; eventually, eustress can motivate us to stay up an extra few hours to work on a difficult project or learn a new skill.
You can tell the difference between "good stress" and "bad stress" because bad stress doesn't feel good at all; instead of inspiring you, it can paralyse you emotionally. According to Diante Fuchs, “this sort of stress feels draining and pressured.” It's accompanied by low self-esteem and exhaustion. ”It doesn't feel like good stress, and it doesn't motivate you to do what needs to be done,” Fuchs says. During periods of high stress, you can become irritable or teary for no apparent reason.
Not only can you not like those emotions, but they are also harmful to your health. We don't want to be in that position for too long because prolonged stress is extremely harmful to our bodies and minds, says Mona Eshaiker, a California-based psychotherapist who often helps her underrepresented clients prevent burnout.
Sources of good stress
Yes, good stress can be added to your life! In an ideal world, you can choose activities and set goals that make you feel healthy, happy, and enthusiastic. Pay attention to how you feel when you think about an activity to see if it's worth your time. Do you have a sense of anticipation? Is it a "must" or a "want to"? Make sure all of your "want to" activities are something you really want to do, and all of your "have to" activities are absolutely important.
"Moments of good stress are temporary and usually only occur at the onset of the task at hand," says Eshaiker. Basically, when the job is completed — whether it's a cool piece of art or a thrilling rollercoaster trip — the positive stress is also completed. You'll notice that you've lost control, inspiration, and concentration once the moment has passed. One of the factors that can turn good stress into bad stress is trying to get past that point.
How can good stress turn into bad stress?
If you have too much stress, it can be harmful to your health. This is because your stress response is activated in any case, and there is a cumulative impact if you add chronic stress or several other stressors.
Be aware of your surroundings and recognize when you've had enough. Although you may not be able to remove all stress from your life, there are often ways to reduce or stop some of it, making it easier to deal with the rest.
How can you prevent bad stress?
Being rational about what you want to take on and making sure you take breaks are the true strategies for maintaining a healthy mix of stressors in your life."Try to be honest with yourself in terms of the challenges you take on or the expectations you have of yourself," says Fuchs.
She describes that it feels nice to stretch ourselves a little and feel like we're improving and -. However, make sure you believe you have what it takes to achieve these goals, whether it's time, money, or mental strength. After all, you can't expend resources that you don't have.