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Not all stress is bad for your mental health - Here is how

Not all stress is bad for your mental health - Here is how

Suraj Iyer

Published: 29 Jun 2020 1:27 PM GMT

Stress is almost always shown in a negative light, especially in today’s urban, fast-paced lifestyle. However, stress plays a major role in a positive as well as negative manner. Eustress: the lesser-known kind of stress that plays an important role in a person’s productivity and the mood is the positive kind of stress that is talked about very little.

Stress is of two kinds, eustress and distress. Distress is what is commonly referred to as the negative stress that causes depression, anxiety, burnout, nervousness, among other issues. Eustress is the beneficial kind of stress one receives from a positive source such as getting promoted at work, enjoying a vacation, getting married, having a child and etc. Distress may exist for a short or prolonged period of time which has varying effects, the same applies to eustress.

Stress is an essential part of our everyday life in moderation. The early man gained a lot of benefits as stress made him constantly alert and avoided any predators. Today, stress can help one to boost productivity in the workplace and for students to meet assignment deadlines on time. Stress is actually a motivating factor in many tasks, even among athletes. For a footballer, scoring a goal before the 90-minute mark causes them to have an adrenaline rush and analyse their approach to the goal in a planned manner. The manner of executing the goal would result in a make or break for the team. Stress in this situation is neutral; however, it is up to the athlete to make the right use of it.

Positive aspects of stress

The Holmes and Rahe Scale of stress measures events, both positive and negative that are likely to occur in an individual’s life and rated the level of stress one could cause to a person. This scale does not explicitly list out the positive and negative stressors but instead points out that negative and positive stress can be at equal extremes. Stress is what one makes of it. Unless the events like the death of a person or marriage with a loved one are clearly stated, minor stressors are likely neutral and under the control of the person. When faced with too much work, a person has the choice to improve their performance, get the work done and showcase responsibility or turn into a vice like smoking, being unable to handle it, it all comes down to the individual.

Stress can be acute (lasts for a very short period) or chronic (months, years or possibly lifetime), either way, one must make sure to understand the kinds of stress and the many ways to deal with it by educating themselves on it or consulting a medical professional. It is necessary to get rid of the common misconception that all stress is negative stress as that is not the case. Minor stress factors for most people can be positive if made use of correctly.

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