Good stress, Bad stress

Good stress, Bad stress

Not all stress is bad. Read on to find the difference between good stress and bad stress.

Stress or worry, the knotty feeling in the stomach, is a universally felt emotion. We often hear stories of people succumbing to heart attacks, anxiety attacks, aggressive behaviour and other undesired behavioural issues which may be induced by high levels of stress. Additionally, balancing stress from work and home is no easy task. However, the real issue one needs to address not how bad stress is but to learn to differentiate between good stress and bad stress.

What is Good Stress?

Every stressful situation generates a rush of adrenaline as a response. While it is good to have moderate levels of stress which may enhance creativity and provide satisfactory results, high levels of stress generate nothing but nagging anxiety. On the contrary, if stress is entirely absent from work or even low, a sense of boredom ensues - which is not a welcome sign.

Eg. The anxiety/stress we feel before a significant deadline for a presentation or interview is normal. Due to stress of performing better in the interview, we might prepare ourselves better not to miss any chance of getting the job. Therefore, such stress promotes good performance and it is called as good stress or eustress. It propels us to do well in life. It is such ‘motivating’ stress that provides a sharp focus, clears thinking and helps us in better organisation.

What is Bad Stress?

Uncontrolled or chronic stress is worrisome as it can trigger a host of adverse effects on our body. It can lead to emotional illness, and various disorders, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, stroke or cancer.

This type of stress is detrimental because the stressed person never really gets a chance to recover from the effects as he/she is constantly in a threatened state. With no recovery time, no sense of choice toward change and no relief in sight, ‘stress’ converts into severe state - anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies. E.g. the death of a spouse, filing for divorce, injury or illness, being abused or neglected, money problems and unemployment.

Where to draw a line?

If a person is under stress, it is often very difficult to determine whether it is good stress or bad stress. That’s why; knowing the difference between the stress levels becomes necessary. If it makes us feel invigorated, challenged and motivated, it is probably good stress. If it leaves us tired, worn and unenthusiastic, it is probably bad stress.

To make it more simplified, have a look:

Effects of Good Stress:

  • Motivates, focuses energy
  • Is short-term
  • Is perceived as within our coping abilities
  • Feels exciting
  • Improves performance

Effects of Bad Stress:

  • Causes anxiety or concern
  • Reactions/behavioural changes can be short- or long-term
  • Is perceived as out of our coping abilities
  • Feels unpleasant
  • Decreases performance
  • Can lead to mental and physical problems

Ignoring stress beyond an extinct when it is not ‘under the control’ and it is going to transform in severe state i.e. depression, one can opt for homeopathy as a solution to relieve stress. Homeopathy is ‘mind & body’ medicine; it not only treat patients’ based on physical symptoms but also addresses their emotional well-being. Hence, considering homeopath as a true well-being partner is a good choice.


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