Last Updated on September 6, 2020 by Frank
Most people focus on the negative side of stress, but what they don’t know is that stress actually has a good side. Good stress can motivate a person and make them grow strong. The problem however is that it is not easy to tell the difference between bad stress and good stress.
When dealing with bad stress, you should likely see a therapist, and there are many platforms where you can find one that works for you. However, there are also self-help articles which can provide you with the necessary information in order to understand what you may be going through, and how to potentially resolve it on your own. In this article, which was based on an article from e-counseling.com, there is in-depth analysis regarding the differences between good stress and bad stress.
The difference between good and bad stress
Generally, good stress is the kind that pushes a person to accomplish more things. In a situation where a person is experiencing good stress, they always have control over the outcome of the issue, because the stress motivates them. Bad stress, on the other hand, can be either long-term or short-term, and it is usually accompanied by a feeling of helplessness since the person has no control over the situation. This means that they feel trapped and compressed, hence the stress and anxiety.
Good stress motivates a person
Also known as eustress, good stress can propel a person and help them achieve more goals. This leads to success, happiness, and fulfillment. Usually, these are short bursts of stress and they provide a person with the motivation to get things done or to overcome certain obstacles. Even when a person is excited about something, they can still feel stressed about it. Some of the situations that could lead to eustress include giving a speech, going through a test, or meeting a deadline. These short bursts of stress enhance brain activity, and they don’t last long enough to cause any damage to the body.
For instance, a deadline can cause good stress when it helps a person to focus and perform well on certain projects, as long as they relax once it’s over. However when a person always feels as if they’re scrambling to meet multiple deadlines all the time, they are always exhausted, their performance could become weak, and they won’t have enough time to relax and recover, which means the stress becomes ongoing and toxic.
Also known as chronic stress, bad stress can slow a person down and inhibit them from doing the things they need. This is the negative kind of stress that is detrimental to a person’s health because they don’t get the chance to recover from effects of fight-or-flight mode. You see, the immune, digestive, and reproductive systems are unable to function normally when the body perceives a threat.
Most of the ailments people go through such as heart disease, memory loss, depression, loss of focus, irritability, weight gain, and a lot more are associated with stress. Whether the stress begins as good or bad, the minute it doesn’t go away, the person starts to suffer. Some of the situations that could lead to chronic stress include relationship troubles, high demand at the workplace as well as a loss of a family member or a close person.
How to keep chronic stress away
It is not very easy to eliminate stressors from your life because it’s simply not realistic. To completely get rid of stress, you might need to lose your house, your friends, your family, your car, and have no job, which would actually just give you more stress. However, there are ways that a person can manage stress and transform it into something manageable. For instance, you can accept what you need to, and change the ones you can. Even though it is easier said than done, try not to stress over things that you cannot change.