Not all stress is the same. Some of the stress that we face in life can be more detrimental to our well-being, and some types of stress can actually be healthy for us. For example, chronic stress —the type of stress that seems to be constant and psychologically or emotionally draining—is the most harmful to our health and wellbeing. This kind of chronic stress can trigger the stress response and keep it triggered for long periods of time, leaving us exhausted and close to burnout.
The Good Stress
Eustress, on the other hand, can be beneficial and is actually necessary for our overall wellbeing. This is the type of “positive” stress that keeps us vital and excited about life. The excitement of a roller-coaster ride, a scary movie, or a fun challenge are all examples of eustress. The anticipation of a first date, the first day at a new job, or other exciting firsts also fall under the umbrella of eustress.
Understanding Your Stressors
Understanding eustress can help us to more easily manage other types of stress as well. For example, research shows that when an event is perceived as a “threat,” we respond to it differently than if it’s seen as a “challenge.” Threats tend to elicit a greater stress response from us and create greater levels of anxiety. Challenges, on the other hand, can be exciting, and even enjoyable to overcome. Threats are scary, while challenges are opportunities to prove ourselves and learn how much we’re capable of accomplishing when we really try. This understanding reminds us that we can view many of the stressors in our lives as challenges rather than threats merely by changing how we talk to ourselves about the challenges and by focusing on the resources we have to handle these challenges rather than focusing on what may go wrong and how damaging that would be. When we work on shifting our focus and approaching stress as a challenge whenever possible, we can manage these challenges more easily and have more vital energy to handle these stressors, without a feeling of being overwhelmed or unhappy.
This takes practice but it can make all the difference in your stress levels.
Original Article:pdated June 14, 2018 https://www.verywellmind.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-eustress-3145109