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What is Positive Stress?

By Advekit

Posted on October 01, 2019


Positive stress

A lot of people think that stress can be harmful to your health. While chronic stress can affect your health negatively, you may be surprised to learn that stress can also be good and have a positive impact on our life. In fact, many psychologists believe that having some stress in our lives is necessary. However, if you need help managing your stress levels, Advekit’s therapist matching service can help you find a counselor. 

 

Stress can be loosely defined as anything that challenges our state of homeostasis. But what exactly is positive stress and how do we experience it?

What is Positive Stress?

Positive stress, otherwise known as good stress or eustress, is the type of stress response that we feel when we get excited. Positive stress can also refer to the times you respond well to a challenge that you experience from a stressor. 

 

Some examples of positive stress can include going rock climbing for the first time, hoping to get promoted at your job, and going on a first date. Positive stress is defined by the effects it produces. These stressors allow us to live outside our comfort zones. 

 

Much of what differentiates positive stress from negative stress is personal. There has to be a level of excitement involved for it to be considered positive stress. For one individual, rock climbing might be so terrifying and overwhelming that it is paralyzing. For another, it might provide them with a fun challenge to grow as a person.

Why is Positive Stress Good For You?

Stress becomes negative when we are overwhelmed, and negative stress is no joke. Therapy for stress management is an effective solution. Negative stress is why we assume that all stress is bad for us. However, pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones can help us feel good about our lives. Eustress, or positive stress, helps us to accomplish our goals. 

Effects of Good Stress

Good stress has many benefits. The trick is to challenge yourself without exhausting all of your resources. If you can do this, you’ll likely experience some of the following:

 

  • The ability to grow your self-esteem.
  • Feeling motivated and inspired. 
  • A stronger and more agile body.

How to Have More Positive Stress in Your Life

You likely already include positive stress in your life, but if you’re looking to add more eustress in your life, here are some ideas:

 

  • Push yourself at work. Take on new tasks, ask your boss what you can do to get more involved. You can also apply for promotions if available. You do not want to overdo it - so beware if you begin feeling too stressed at work
  • Push your body. Pick up a form of exercise if you don’t already have one. Running and lifting weights are great to introduce physical eustress into your life. Additionally, you’ll be able to track physical and mental health improvements. 
  • Take on a new project. If you find yourself with plenty of free time, try learning a new skill that induces a stress response. Even simple projects can create endless opportunities for exercising your brain. 
  • Read. Learn something new or come across ideas that challenge the way you think and see the world. 

 

While stress is a normal part of our life, you can always look for ways to include more positive stress in your life.

 

Get Matched →

 

Sources

 

https://www.mhanational.org/conditions/stress

 

https://www.nami.org/About-NAMI/NAMI-News/2013/Stress-Boosts-Good-and-Bad-Habits-Study-Finds

 

https://psychcentral.com/blog/is-stress-good-for-you


Reviewed By

Alison LaSov, LMFT

blog-reviewer

Alison LaSov is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with experience treating clients struggling with anxiety and depression. She predominantly focuses on mental health intervention for children and adolescents, particularly those who are in crisis. She has worked within the Los Angeles education system treating students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), as well as supervised a non-profit Teen Crisis Hotline out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Alison earned her B.A. from UCLA and M.A. from Pepperdine University. She is a native to Los Angeles and co-founder at Advekit.

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