How Can Stress Actually Be A Good Thing?
While stress can be overwhelming, if managed properly, it can help you meet expectations and demands.1 Similarly, studies show that stress is essential to overcome new challenges.
Stress is a feeling of emotional tension that many people experience regularly. While some believe stress is bad, new studies show that stress is a fundamental part of human life.
Every day, people face challenges in their workplaces or schools, causing a reaction known as stress. Without this tension, you might not be motivated to accomplish new goals, stunting your growth.
Additionally, it’s safe to state that stress can be bad and good. If you are in distress consistently without a suitable way to manage it, you might be experiencing bad stress.
When bad stress becomes overwhelming, you might face health challenges triggered by new conditions. This makes it necessary to engage in numerous activities, which may help you reduce and manage your daily stress levels.
Further, experts believe that stress is good to a notable extent as it optimizes your alertness and performance.2 Without a form of tension, you might not be motivated to move out of your comfort zone.
However, this essential stress is not chronic; it is a temporary tension that occurs during the challenge. This feeling may also improve your mental performance.
A study conducted on rats discovered that a degree of tension helped rats improve their mental performance. The results showed that stress caused the growth of new cells, resulting in a higher level of alertness.3
Also, there are some debates on the harmful effects of chronic stress. Some experts believe that consistent stress could significantly affect memory. Besides this, chronic stress could trigger other health concerns, such as hypertension, obesity, and mental disorders.
All in all, you should embrace some level of stress. Without this tension, you may not be able to optimize alertness and focus.
Stress Enhances Motivation
Motivation is a feeling that guides, pushes, and drives you to accomplish a certain goal.4 For instance, hunger motivates wild animals, causing them to hunt for food till they satisfy their urge.
Humans are often motivated to take up new challenges. This happens when people get degrees to land better-paying jobs and when students study hard to get good grades.
Without stress, it may be challenging to accomplish these feats. Oftentimes, stress is short-lived, disappearing once you have met demands.
Indeed, stress occurs when you are overwhelmed by specific events or situations. This feeling of tension can be uncomfortable as it interprets stressors as signs of danger.
In a recent study, researchers helped students from a community college embrace stress as a motivation to aid their academic goals. From the results, the students experienced lesser anxiety and also scored higher in their tests.
Experts have always encouraged using stress as a way to get things done. Reports show that changing your mindset about your stress levels may help you manage them efficiently.5
While living a stress-free life is an unrealistic goal, you can use the tension to meet expectations. Also, ensure you manage your stress level properly to avoid complicating conditions.
Stress Can Build Resilience And Encourage Growth
Resilience is the ability to recover from difficulties and challenges. Having this ability will enable you to overcome setbacks and problems whenever they occur. Stress may also help you build resilience.
Modern life is filled with numerous stressors. Similarly, the brain sees these stressors as threats and then triggers body changes to help you face this challenge.
When stressed, you may notice heightened awareness and focus. This is the brain's response to perceived threats, even when they are not threats.
When you are stressed, you may also notice these symptoms:
- High blood pressure
To optimize stress for continued growth and development, Harvard Business Review created a three-step approach. This approach should help change how you perceive stress and also use it to build resilience.
For the first step, you need to admit that you are stressed. You should not try to hide or deny stress; you should see it as what it is—stress.7
For instance, you might have some things bothering you; it’s okay to recognize those things. This is a healthy way to respond to new demands.
According to research, the investigation revealed that putting feelings into words may assist in situation management.8
In another study, the report showed that those who saw stress as a way to develop their ability produced low cortisol—a stress hormone.
This hormone increases glucose flow in the bloodstream, giving you sufficient nutrients to face stressors or threats. In a situation where you are faced with danger, the brain triggers the production of this hormone to keep you safe.
The second step is to accept it. In this situation, you should accept that it’s natural to stress over things that matter. Accepting stress means that you can use it as a motivation to actualize your goals. Let's face it; achieving goals is not always easy, so you should accept that the stress is worth it.
The final step is to use it for your growth. Naturally, the reason for stress is for humans to be able to overcome challenges. You can use it to your advantage.
Whether getting a degree or working on a new project, you should use stress to optimize your performance.
Good Stress vs Bad Stress
Good stress and bad stress are similar, but not the same. The major difference between the two is the outcome or results.
In addition, good stress is a type of stress that drives you to achieve goals. It motivates you to keep going even when things become overwhelming or uncomfortable.
Since we need small amounts of stress to survive our daily lives, we must learn to use good stress the best way.
On the other hand, bad stress is a negative response to threats. This stress does not help you overcome challenges, neither does it help you actualize goals. All it does is keep you worried and agitated.
Bad stress can be chronic, making it harmful to human health. You have to change how you perceive stress to change bad stress to good.
Managing our stress
Stress management is a way to reduce or control daily stress levels. Everyone gets stressed at some point; the only difference is that some manage their stress better than others.
Without efficient stress management techniques, your health status may suffer significantly. This makes it necessary to incorporate good habits to manage stress.9
Here are some great ways to manage your stress levels:
- Meditate: You can manage your stress levels by meditating regularly. It would help if you scheduled time for your daily meditation. This helps you keep track of your progress.
- Avoid caffeine: While caffeine efficiently heightens your alertness, you should reduce your intake to manage stress. Some reports show that caffeine contributes to higher stress levels in humans.
- Exercise: Find a routine that works for your body. Exercise is a great way to manage daily stress if used properly. When exercising, avoid overexerting yourself, or you may get injured.
- Talk to a therapist: You can also schedule a meeting with a therapist to find the best ways to manage stress.
Stress is an essential part of modern life. While chronic stress can hurt your health, it can motivate you if well-managed, helping you achieve academic, career, and business goals. Still, you can manage your stress levels by exercising, meditating, and talking to a therapist about your challenges.