Chances are that if you were to ask people “what is positive stress?” you would get only a bewildered look as a response. After all, we have always been taught that stress is bad for our health and that we should avoid it whenever possible.
Even so, there is indeed such a thing as positive stress and it can have quite a beneficial impact on our lives.
The Definition of Positive Stress
We all know what stress feels like. It is a certain sensation of nervousness and tension, sometimes stomach butterflies. It is a reaction from our bodies as the result of certain physical, mental or psychological demands which are placed on it.
That is, more or less, the definition of the first person that identified stress, Hans Seley. However, he also categorized it in good stress and harmful stress.
The positive stress, also called eustress, is a reaction we have whenever we are faced with a demand which we can handle. It is a spark that can push your body to its limits in order to achieve a certain goal.
Whenever you feel positive stress, you are encouraged to act. Whether this means growing, fighting, changing or adapting is up to you, but you will not remain complacent. In other words, positive stress makes us do things we would not normally do. It gives us that extra impulse to take risks such as asking your boss for a promotion or inviting that girl you like on a date.
It can be argued that life would not only be much more boring, but also less filled with accomplishments if we did not experience positive stress.
From a medical standpoint, a lack of stress can actually be potentially damaging because it causes boredom and lack of motivation. This can lead to unfulfilled desires and wasted potential. In turn, these issues can put people at risk of depression and problems with low self esteem. That is why positive stress is good for us. It stimulates our bodies and helps us take that extra step further.
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