While all stress must be managed, it is a mistake to think of
all stress as bad. Some stress can be very good. Look at the
following brief definitions.
* Stress is your body's response to any demands made on it.
* Situations or events that cause stress are called "stressors".
* A bad or detrimental stressor is called "distress". "Di" means "two" in Greek.
Think of double trouble. Distress is a
disabling or crippling stress.
* A good or beneficial stressor is called "eustress". "Eu" means "good" in Greek. Think of joy and laughter. Eustress is a pleasant or a healing stress.
Examples of Good Stress - Eustress
Good stress may, like all stress, seem too much to handle emotionally or physically - but good stress does not drain you of power. Its very nature energizes you, helping you handle more than you thought possible.
1. Life-saving stress. You may have experienced, or heard of, an accident in which someone was pinned under a heavy vehicle. The physical demand of lifting that vehicle might seem impossible, but the good stress of that impossibility provided the rush of adrenalin needed for someone to lift the incredible weight.
2. Stage Stress. The actor who waits for the curtain to rise often experiences eustress, or good stress. The good stress helps him or her to focus and remember opening lines, despite the feeling that the demand is too great.
3. Earning power stress. You lost your job, and try as you might, you seem unable to get another. The emotional demands of trying to make ends meet is causing stress, but it turns out to be good stress because it pushes you beyond what you thought you could do. It pressures you to keep trying until you land a job.
4. Job Interview Stress. The oral interview for that new job is much more than you feel ready to tackle. The emotional demand seems too great, but good stress kicks in, supplying you with clear thinking and ability to express your thoughts in ways that will be of positive help to your interview.
5. New job stress. You want to make a good impression on that new job. Landing the job is a positive in your life, but the demands of learning the job seem more than you feel you can handle. Good stress presses you to apply yourself, focus, and succeed.
6. Winning Score Stress. The athlete in a close competition looks at the score board. The score is tied, with less than a minute remaining. He or she needs a competitive edge if the winning score is to be made. Good stress supplies that
competitive edge. The athlete concentrates, the mind clears, and the score is made.
7. Final Examination Stress. You are going to take an important examination. You feel stress, certain you are unable to do as well as you want. That good stress will drive you to prepare, and to think clearly and quickly during the exam.
8. Wedding Day Stress. Few people think their wedding day calls for stress management. That's because a wedding is viewed as a happy, positive step. At the same time, your wedding may raise doubts as to your ability to meet the demands of a new life. That beneficial stress will send adrenalin racing through your body, giving you that "competitive edge" that makes you fight off your doubts.
Those are but a handful of examples of eustress – beneficial stress.
You cannot avoid stress, nor should you want to. You especially do not want to avoid good stress.
Stress Management - Good Stress
Managed properly, beneficial stress energizes you and clarifies your thinking. It helps you focus, providing the edge you need to attain goals that would otherwise be unattainable. Learn the techniques needed to manage eustress, and you will find it an enjoyable experience.
Stressors are neither good nor bad in and of themselves. They become good or bad based on how your body reacts to the stressors. Your body reacts according to how you train it, or tell it to react.
5 Steps for managing eustress.
* Identify the stressor. When the first twinges of stress hit, identify the situation or event that is causing it. What is it that makes you feel you are emotionally or physically unable to handle the stressor? Name it.
* Describe the stressor. Pull it into the open and look closely at it. Is it something your body really cannot be expected to handle emotionally or physically? How big is it? How long will it last?
* Differentiate the stressor. Is it bad or good stress? Is it distress or eustress? Does it seem detrimental or beneficial? Give it the benefit of the doubt.
* Laugh at the stressor. Your conscious decision to laugh at the stressor can strengthen your body to handle it. It can help you convert potential distress to eustress. Modern scientists are learning the truth of an ancient proverb: humor is healing. So consciously smile and laugh to turn the stressor into eustress.
* Relax with the Stressor. Consciously allow yourself to relax, aware that eustress is helping you do this.
Eustress provides your body with chemicals that stimulate your brain to relax the neck and back muscles. As your neck and back relax, your brain also relaxes. It begins to refocus. It begins to think more clearly and quickly.
Eustress provides physical health to your whole body. It reduces your blood pressure, and strengthens both the immune system and digestive system.
Follow these five steps whenever you feel physically or emotionally unable to handle a situation. Turn distress to eustress, and you will soon be more proactive in dealing with the stressor.