Finding Your Sweet Spot: Balancing Good and Bad Stress for Optimal Personal Growth
We've all heard the phrase "stress is bad for you," but what if i told you that not all stress is created equal?
That's right, there's actually good stress and bad stress, and it's important to know the difference.
The “good stress is called eustress (EU- Stress) and the bad stress is called distress (Di-Stress).
Eustress is essential. It is required to help us, learn, adapt, and grow. It can motivate us to accomplish goals and overcome obstacles.
Meanwhile, distress (the bad stress) can affect us negatively and lead to a host of problems in any area of your life such as mind body health, productivity, personal and professional connections, relationships and more. It can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems, and muscle tension. It can also affect our mental health, leading to anxiety and depression.
Having this awareness and the right tools, we can turn bad stress into an opportunity for personal growth.
Let’s look at good and bad stress this way for you.
Think of this concept in terms of going to the gym and doing weights. Putting the muscles under load is a physical stressor. If we put the muscle under just enough load and then rest the muscle long enough, it adapts and lays down new muscle fibres and you build muscle allowing you to become stronger. Yes!!!
Now if you put the muscle under too much increasing load (too much too quick) you will cause an injury. Also if you don’t rest the muscle long enough and keep stressing it (by putting it under load) you will cause muscle-atrophy, which means the muscle will actually de-crease in size. The total opposite of what you were trying to achieve.
Now what if you didn't do much activity or move your body in a healthy way, giving it no healthy stressors at all? Yes, that right, it would become weak and immobile.
This exact same concept applies to any area of life such as our productivity, our mind and any area of our health and relationships.
Think of it this way: Eustress is actually wellness-promoting and Distress is actually illness promoting.
So, there you have it! Not all stress is bad, and we humans are wired to handle some of it. EU stress, the good kind, can actually help us become better versions of ourselves. However, bad stress can wreak havoc on our bodies and minds.
Our goal in life is not to get rid off all stress but be able to over-come stress to adapt and grow.
This is why I offer a multi-modality approach to helping people overcome stress, to learn, adapt and grow.
Some of our stress can be balanced by a daily mind body practice such as mindfulness, meditation, exercise or yoga and deeper stressors (such as limiting beliefs, resentment or shame, identity crisis, confusion around life or business direction, trauma or misalignment of ones own values or purposeful priorities) may need personalised guidance to balance and be free so we can move forward, adapt and grow.
It's important to recognise the signs of bad stress and take steps to manage it, rather than letting it consume us. By doing so, we can lead happier and healthier lives.