What is good stress? Is there such a thing as positive stress?
Stress is generally considered to be a bad thing in our lives and indeed it is when it is continuous and begins to affect our health, but stress is also a necessary and natural part of our lives.
Just imaging leading a life where nothing exciting ever happened, every day was the same and there were no surprises. Sounds rather dull and pointless to me.
It is good to note that stress can be caused by good events as well as bad. It also depends on our own personalities and how we react to different situations. So even when something fun is happening some of us may still find it rather stressful, things such as:
These are all things which most of us would enjoy and find exhilarating but there are also stressful elements which if we are not able to cope with can make us feel stressed and anxious too.
Any stress which triggers our natural fight of flight response is considered a positive stressor. This means that it helps us to survive by preparing our body to cope with the immediate danger or situation.
Chemicals such as Cortisol are pumped into our blood stream which helps us to run faster, think quicker, and respond faster. Our hearts beat faster to move oxygen and blood around the system to the most important areas of our body. This response to stress can be a life saver, like being able to get out of the way of a moving car or to simply keep going so that we can get through the day’s events.
It is only when stress becomes something which is constant or more regular than not that it becomes a problem and this is when we need to do something about it before it begins to harm our mental and physical health. Find out more about how stress can have detrimental effects on us both mentally and physically here on this site.
We all need some stress in our lives to make it interesting and exciting but we need it to be in short bursts, this is good stress.
There have even been studies made where it shows that short bursts of stress can actually help to strengthen our immune system. It is believed that when we experience stress which we know will only be for a short period of time, our bodies react to it positively.
The opposite has been shown where people who experience stress on an ongoing basis such as the elderly or those with long term disabilities have also exhibited more episodes of ill health due to a weakened immune system.
However these negative effects of long term stress can be prevented with the use of stress relief techniques such as relation and exercise to name but a two. Discover other ways to control stress in your lives by reading more in the stress relief techniques and coping with stress areas of this site.