Did you know that stress can actually be a good thing?
As the next school year approaches, we are all dreading those sleepless nights before a big psych exam or when a major government paper is due...but what if we told you that some stress can actually be a *good* thing?!
Think about it. When a star basketball player is about to take the game-winning shot at the buzzer, that player may be a little light-headed, start sweating more or have a faster heart beat. These are all normal and healthy reactions which allow that basketball player to combat the stressful situation. This is called eustress, and you’ve probably experienced it before.
You might have felt a type of adrenaline rush while giving an oral presentation or finishing a difficult, time-consuming project. This type of stress actually motivates you to continue working because it makes your body more alert, sharpens your memory and boosts your immune system. When you are "in the zone," working on your homework or exercising, eustress allows your mind and body to focus intently on your surroundings and the task at hand.
The opposite of eustress is distress which is what people generally think of when they talk about stress, defining it as as a negative force which can debilitate a person.
But here's the great thing about stress: Your body cannot tell the difference between eustress and distress. The physical reactions for both types are the same—the only thing that changes is your state of mind. Therefore, you are in complete control of determining what kind of stress that you face. If you view stress as a positive force, it can empower you to keep going...so during the next sticky sitch in your life, try to think about how that stress is actually guiding you, energizing you and helping you survive and thrive.
Have you ever experienced "good" stress? Share below!
Photo credit: We Heart It.