Meet Eustress! And The Surprising Benefits of Good Stress

Do you ever feel a wave of positive excitement, anticipation, or motivation when faced with a challenge, but you don’t know why? You could be experiencing eustress – a unique form of stress that is actually beneficial to your well-being. In this article, we will look into exactly what it is and the surprising benefits it can bring. We will explore how eustress arises, how you can recognize it, how to best use it, and tips on how to spin negative stress into something more productive. By the end of this article, you will have a greater understanding of eustress and what it can do for you.

Medical disclosure: The Fit Yourself Barre content is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of a physician. You should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

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What Is Eustress?

Eustress is a term derived from positive psychology and refers to a good type of stress. It is the kind of stress that’s actually beneficial for you whether physical, psychological, or emotional. Unlike distress, eustress can motivate, energize, and improve performance. It usually lasts for a short time and is within our coping abilities. making it more exciting and stimulating rather than exhausting or upsetting.

It is the good stress that comes from positive events and tasks in life like a new project, job, or trip that challenges us but doesn’t feel too hard.

Therefore, eustress plays a critical role in helping us stay motivated, optimal, and resilient in the face of life’s challenges.

What does “eustress” mean?

Eustress is Greek of origin and comes from two words: “eu” meaning good, and “stress” meaning extreme pressure. It refers to a kind of stress that is actually helpful.

What is the difference between eustress and distress?

Like bad stress, you might have physical reactions such as feeling nervous, having a pounding heart, and racing thoughts. But the difference is how Eustress’ feelings can seem exciting with a sense of anticipation, while distress makes you feel uneasy.

In short: eustress is good and helps you stay attentive and take on new challenges while distress activates negative emotions, making you feel anxious and fearful.

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10 Surprising Benefits of Good Stress

Eustress triggers a series of physiological positive effects on the body that are important.

Here are 10 impacts of good stress

Eustress can help you:

  • Stay alert
  • Be more creative
  • Take on new challenges
  • Motivate you to work toward goals
  • Develop your ability to adapt to difficult life experiences
  • Be more proactive
  • Find meaning in the life you’re living
  • Be more dynamic
  • Feel good about life and work
  • Feel more confident

Stress can be helpful when it comes to getting things done. Feeling the right amount of “arousal” (which is another word for stress) can help us do our best. But too much stress can be bad. Different tasks might need different levels of stress for us to do them well.

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How To Turn Bad Stress Into Eustress?

Recognizing the difference between good stress and bad stress is key to managing your stress levels.

As a matter of fact, once you grasp what eustress is, it can help you handle other kinds of stress too. As an example, studies show that when you think of an event as a “threat,” you respond differently than if you see it as a “challenge.” Challenges involve taking risks but can give us a sense of accomplishment while threats make us feel anxious.

So the key is to train your mind to look at stress in a positive way. Don’t think of it as something bad, but as something that can help you. Accept the way your body responds to stress and use it to your advantage.

Seeing stressors as challenges instead of threats can help you cope more easily with difficult situations. There are strategies you can use to help you see stressful events as challenges rather than threats. For example, try looking at a situation from different perspectives. Ask yourself what you can learn from the experience and how you can make it a positive experience.

Here are 5 tips to help you change bad stress into good stress whenever possible

Remember that this isn’t something that’s easy to do. We can’t always make our worries go away, and that’s fine.

  • Evaluate the situation: Take time to think about how stressful your situation is when you have the time and energy.
  • Talk positively to yourself! Encourage yourself to handle the problems that come your way. Remind yourself that you can get through them and that you can stay strong and keep going despite anything life throws at you.
  • Focus on the things that you can control. Think about the skills and resources you have to deal with any challenges you face. It’s better to focus on what you’re able to do, rather than worry about things that could go wrong. That way, you can feel more positive.
  • Change your attitude: whenever possible, make stress a healthy challenge instead of a problem. With the right mindset, you welcome change and grow your mind, and it is an opportunity to learn new skills.
  • Find a positive aspect in any circumstance: Look for the good side in any situation that you’re in. See if you can find something positive, even if it’s a small thing.

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Can Eustress Become Bad Stress?

Yes, it is possible to have too much positive stress. Eustress, though it is good is still a form of stress, and too much of it can cause physical, mental, and emotional health problems.

Eustress is different from chronic stress, which can be very bad for you. Chronic stress lasts for a long time and can lead to depression.

However, we should be careful not to let eustress get too intense or last too long. You need to balance your active lifestyle with times to rest and relax, otherwise, you can start overloading your system.

Balance is really important. A bit of stress can boost your mood and energy, but having too much could mean you’re not taking enough time for yourself or to relax.

Surely, changing your mindset can help with stress management, but it isn’t the only way. Too many challenges can change good stress into bad stress. This bad stress can lead to burnout, or even worse. To tackle this, here are a few things you can do:

  • Develop strong habits that help you stay calm when faced with stressful situations.
  • Trim down your schedule by cutting things you don’t like doing. Let go of activities that are not important.
  • Pay attention to your limits, and what you can and can’t do. Make sure to keep your life in balance.
  • Saying “no” can make you feel uncomfortable, but it’s important to know your boundaries. When something is not right for you, it’s best to turn it down.

Practicing can really help reduce your stress. Try it and you’ll see the difference!

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What Are Some Examples Of Eustress?

Good stress enables you to grow stronger in three areas: psychologically, emotionally, and physically.

To understand this kind of healthy stress, think about some of your positive life events and experiences.

Here are a few ways to feel eustress arise:

  • First-time experiences like your first home, first date, or plane ride. Experiencing something new can be uncomfortable or strange. But it can also be really exciting and lead to discovering new things.
  • Major life transitions like becoming a parent, starting a new career, moving to a new city, opening your own business, buying a new house, or starting a relationship.
  • Small challenges like a thriller movie, volunteering for a new project at work, travel, personal fitness goals, or a roller-coaster ride.

Sometimes, distress can transform into eustress. For example, a job loss might initially be upsetting, but it may be perceived as an opportunity for change and growth over time.

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Let Eustress Arise!

Eustress is the positive and beneficial type of stress that helps us stay focused, increases adrenaline, and encourages us to strive for our goals. In small doses, it can be the driving force to help us succeed in both our personal and professional lives. The key is to recognize the signs and effects of eustress and find strategies to help us effectively manage it. Understanding the line between healthy eustress and unhealthy stress can lead to a happier, more productive lifestyle.

Did you know about eustress? Please, share your thoughts and experience below!

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  1. This concept makes a ton of sense. I always try to look for ways to flip a bad situation around and that often requires a simple adjustment in perspective. I guess if I had to use an analogy, it would be something like heavy lifting at your job. It’s uncomfortable and feels like you’re working too hard for what you’re getting paid. But on the other hand, if you approach from the same point of view as lifting weights for exercise, you can almost learn to embrace it as a way to make yourself stronger. The process might be unpleasant, but the results can be made to pay off. Sharpen yourself against the grinding stone of life, so to speak. 


    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Hello Mark, thanks for your comment! I really like your example of how to turn bad stress into eustress! I do that too when I do anything physical in my everyday life activities.

      You may be interested in reading this article about VILPA! New VILPA Results | How Can 1 Min Physical Activity Bouts Prolong Your Life

      Have a great day!

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