According to the “Father of Stress” Hans Selye, we need stress in our lives. Without it we wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning! The problem is we’ve been programmed to react to the word “stress” as a bad thing, and therefore attach a negative connotation to it (i.e. being in a state of distress).
The truth is stress can also be a good thing. Eustress, that is. Eustress is positive stress – beneficial stress – adaptive stress.
If this information is surprising to you, here are five more astonishing tidbits:
POSITIVE outcomes of EUSTRESS
1. Things Get Done
We’ve all heard someone say, “I work better under pressure.” Perhaps you feel the same way too when it comes to pushing yourself to get a task done. I’ve experienced this many times myself.
2. Energy Prevails
Adrenaline is pumping, thoughts are flowing, energy is pulsating while you prep for your presentation, an important project, or study for an exam. You feel exhilarated and alive!
3. Harm Is Averted
You detect a distinctly different odour coming from the basement. You become acutely aware of the scent and your mind works overtime madly deciphering and narrowing down the potential source. You take immediate action to ensure our family is safe. You are 100% focused on your task. Nothing else exists at this moment except your family’s safety.
4. Careers Are Boosted
Let’s say your team is poised to win an all-expenses paid trip to a destination of your choice. The pressure is on – good pressure, that is. You are engaged, you are creative and you jump out of bed every morning brimming with ideas on how and why your team will be the winning team.
5. Relationships Are Created
You’ve met someone who is very interested in your work and there’s no doubt in your mind that this connection could boost your sales immensely. You go out of your way to ensure your potential client gets to know you and your work on a more than a superficial basis. You take the time and energy to cultivate and build a strong foundation of trust and credibility.
When Eustress Becomes Distress
When we’re in a state of eustress, we experience a surge of energy. However, if we don’t manage the surge and return back to our “normal” pre-stress state, we run the risk of becoming “distressed” and thus counteracting all the positive benefits of good stress.
Having the proper mindset is a key factor in managing stress and ultimately determines if we experience distress or eustress. Your mindset is impacted by two variables: how “in control” you feel of a situation and your personal reaction to the stimulus or event.