We all experience a certain amount of stress. It is inevitable — and some stress is even good.
Good stress, also known as eustress is the kind of stress that inspires someone to complete a task or work to meet a goal. Eustress is usually associated with overcoming an obstacle. It provides a feeling of wellbeing and relief once the task is complete or the obstacle is overcome. Eustress arises in the face of a challenge and results in motivation without being overwhelming.
Getting married or promoted are positive events that are stressful – in a good way. And this type of good stress has benefits. Short-term stress causes the hormone cortisol to spike – allowing you to think more clearly. And good stress can stimulate your immune system and help you be more creative.
Bad stress has negative implications. It is persistent and can be overwhelming. Bad stress — also known as distress– can result in the inability to complete tasks. Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand with bad stress. People react differently to life’s challenges, but common causes of bad stress include high demands in the workplace or school, being bullied and relationship issues.
Chronic stress can lower the body’s ability to fight disease. It can affect sleep, digestion and reproductive health. Research has also linked bad stress to ailments including heart disease, weight gain and memory loss.
Developing good coping strategies is the first step in managing your stress. If stress is overwhelming you – or you feel as if you cannot cope, please talk with your healthcare provider who may recommend a therapist or specialist.
As the end of summer draws near, take some time to relax in a hammock or daydream by the lake. We all experience stress, but it’s important to find balance and develop behaviors that help us to manage life’s inevitable challenges.
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