Stress Can Be Good for You
Stress has a major influence over the body’s fight-or-flight response, which is meant to be protective, not harmful. Therefore, when stress helps you make a difficult decision, and it is the right one, it is having a positive influence on you, and reinforcing your good feelings about yourself. It is when stress makes you feel out of control of a situation that it can eat away at your self-esteem.
There are several ways that short-term stress can influence your behavior in a positive way:
- It Can Boost Your Brainpower — Studies performed on animals have suggested that the body’s response to stress can temporarily boost memory and learning scores. Exercise, which is a physical stressor, can help improve productivity and concentration.
- In Can Increase Short-Term Immunity — When you get stressed, your body starts to prepare for the possibility of injury or infection, and temporarily increases the production of chemicals that strengthen the immune system.
- You Can Become More Resilient — Having to deal with repeated stressful situations teaches you how to handle them, and make future ones easier to manage. Obviously, being able to avoid stressful situations altogether is optimal, but when you do encounter them, knowing how to handle them actually relieves the stress of the situation somewhat.
- Good Stress Can Help You Succeed — Good stress comes from when you are excited about something, but don’t feel threatened by it. Riding a roller coaster, or going on a first date are examples of good stress. It keeps you excited about life. Good stress can be found in the workplace, on the playing field, or just about any creative endeavor. It is driven largely driven by the will to succeed.
How Good Stress Can Become Bad Stress
Good stress can become bad stress if you experience too much of it. If you’re adding to chronic stress regularly, there is a cumulative effect, leading to bad stress. You need to be able to recognize when your stress levels are too high, and learn how to do something about them. You won’t be able to eliminate all the stress in your life, but there are often ways that you can minimize or avoid some of it, making the rest easier to handle.
Stress can build up when you are overwhelmed by what you have to do. A simple, though not always easy, thing to do is to let something give. Everything does not have to be done tomorrow. Take a second look at your to-do list, and eliminate just one thing that you can forgo, or do at a later time. There is always one thing.
Good Stress is Important
It’s important to have good stress in your life. When you feel good stress, you feel pumped, or positive. Even though you still feel that stress, you look forward to it, as a challenge that you want to, not have to, beat.
Positive Thinking Brings on Good Stress
Have a positive attitude tends to produce good stress. In addition to working on thinking positively about stress, using meditation, particularly mindfulness, and even regular deep abdominal breathing can help you regulate your own stress levels.