Good Stress Versus Bad Stress

8 06 2011

Stress is not always a bad thing. Stress is actually abroad term that applies to the range of our bodies natural physiological reactions to different kinds of pressure. “Eustress” is a pleasant or curative stress that contributes to interest, excitement and preserves attention in your life. Examples of eustress would be a fast paced activity that keeps you motivated or keeps you focused. A good example might be a roller coaster ride, unless you are scared of heights! There would be much less enjoyment in our in our work days and leisure time without positive stress. “Distress” on the other hand is the bad stress that is destructive to physical and mental well being. After too much distress or negative stress, from the repeated alarm reaction, our bodies and minds experience exhaustion. Nearly every part of your body is affected by negative stress. A state of exhaustion weakens your immune system, healing, cognitive abilities and increases allergies, inflammation and a host of other unfortunate symptoms.

 Stress comes in various stages. The first stage of stress is the alarm reaction where the body readies for an immediate response. While in the alarm reaction state, the body actives the endocrine system to prepare for a sudden fight or flight response. In the second stage of stress, the body attempts to return to a state of balance. The third stage, exhaustion occurs when the body experiences repeated alarm reactions. Our bodies and minds do not preform at their best when they are recovering from a constant state of negative stress related exhaustion.

 Fortunately you have a variety of techniques to reduce negative stress or distress. Some people use controlled breathing or meditation to reduce the effects of negative stress. If you are experiencing negative stress in the workplace, you might check out your employee assistance, counseling or wellness program. Many employers and benefits programs are instituting or creating wellness programs. If your workplace does not have any of these services, you should contact a human resources representative.



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