The benefits of healthy stress: the positive eustress

Undoubtedly, there is concern in recent times about the growing number of cases of people suffering from stress, often with negative consequences for physical and mental health. Well you will be surprised to know that not all stress is bad, because on the contrary there are cases in which certain situations of stress can have beneficial results.

This of which we speak to you, this positive quality of stress, is called by psychology as eustress. In this note we will tell you what exactly healthy stress is, how it benefits us and what you can do to promote it. A good way to face challenges positively and obtain better results for our lives.

Why does stress appear?

The stress -That sensation of tension that we have all experienced at some point- it is nothing else than the response of our organism to a challenge or a threat, an extra effort that implies a high wear both mentally and physically.

It is what allows us to face situations that would seem beyond our capabilities, from passing an exam that seemed impossible to us, to making a maneuver in a fraction of seconds to avoid being rammed by another vehicle.

The causes (the so-called stressors) can be very varied. Although we usually associate stress with overwork, it can be family, economic and even sentimental situations that generate stress. Even things that may seem good, like a move, a wedding or a promotion can cause it.

Stress is an emergency response, and therefore the body suffers when the stress becomes chronic, that is, it becomes permanent or very prolonged. Hence, negative stress can lead us to suffer different disorders in the spirit and the physical. Luckily, there is also positive stress, very important to maintain a healthier balance in our body.

What is eustress or positive stress?

To explain what exactly positive stress is, we will return to what we mentioned earlier when talking about situations that stress us. Given a given situation, let's suppose two students facing the last exam of their career - and assuming similar conditions, the physical effects that are felt when starting the stress will be the same.

These will occur as a result of the activation of the sympathetic autonomic nervous system, stimulating the acceleration of the heart rate and breathing, tension in the muscles, among others.

What may differ is the cognitive assessment in this situation. Basically how we take the situation. If the situation is lived through negative feelings (frustration, insecurity, overwhelm, low self-esteem, anger) this will generate a mental block, which will make it difficult to obtain good results and the possibilities of responding to this stressful situation. This is the so-called negative stress.

But the other student may have a very different perception of the situation if he considers that he has a chance to successfully face the situation, if he trusts his abilities. Then you can perceive that situation as a challenge, generating a feeling of vitality, optimism, strengthening self-esteem and even stimulation and pleasure. This is the case of positive stress or eustress.

Benefits of healthy or positive stress

Being able to channel the stress that daily challenges present us positively will not only prevent us from the consequences of negative stress. It will also bring you many benefits. First in our body, renewing our energy, what we can well channel in a sport or other physical activity.

The eustress will help us to be more active, to stimulate our creativity and to be more efficient, achieving better results with less effort. As we explained in the beginning, this healthy stress allows us to be alert and alert, to react in the best possible way to unexpected challenges, achieving more successful results. In addition, healthy stress will allow us to have a more balanced emotional state and positively feedback self-esteem. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Psychologist. We advise you to consult your trusted Psychologist. ThemesStress

there's good and bad stress (September 2021)