Mental Health

Good stress: Here’s how stress can have a positive effect on you

Like it or not, but stress is an inevitable part of life that affects our mental and physical health. Some face work pressure, others financial difficulties or relationship problems or health concerns. Stress is often seen as an evil thing that we need to get rid of. A quick Google search will show you that many people search for ways to de-stress or reduce stress. Turns out, not all stress is bad. Good things or positive events in your life can cause stress too! Read on to find out about the good stress and how it affects you.

To know more about it, Health Shots reached out to psychotherapist, life and business coach Dr Chandni Tugnait.

Positive stress may help you in many ways. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Causes of good stress in life

Good stress is also known as eustress, and is a type of stress that helps in motivation, focus, and personal growth. Contrary to negative stress, or distress, positive stress can benefit a person’s well-being and overall health, says the expert.

Here are positive stressors that, despite causing stress, can ultimately contribute to personal growth, resilience, and well-being –

1. Starting a new job or promotion

Learning new skills or adapting to a new environment or building relationships with co-workers can cause stress. However, this stress can improve self-confidence and give a sense of accomplishment and career growth.

2. Moving to a new home or city

Army kids may be used to it, but uprooting one’s life, leaving behind familiar surroundings, and facing the unknown can be stressful for many. Nevertheless, embracing change can help to build resilience, gain cultural exposure, nurture new friendships, and foster personal growth through new experiences.

3. Getting married or entering a committed relationship

Getting a marriage proposal from the person you love is something that you probably wishes for. But uniting with a partner adds complexity, adjustments and compromises to life, and overcoming these challenges allows one to develop stronger communication skills and a deeper emotional bond, says Dr Tugnait.

4. Having a child

Babies bring joy, but having a child is a major life adjustment that causes sleep deprivation, lifestyle changes, and new responsibilities – all of which are stressful. However, parenting can also mean fulfilment, creating an opportunity to develop patience, empathy, and attachment to one’s growing family.

5. Pursuing higher education or vocational training

Studying for exams and balancing work life with academics is indeed stressful. But the commitment to learning, opens doors to personal development and professional opportunities. There is also a heightened sense of accomplishment.

good stress
Moving to a new city or setting weight loss goals are all positive stressors. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Taking on a leadership role or new responsibilities

Accepting additional responsibilities or becoming a leader means added pressure and high expectations. Once you accept this challenge, it can boost self-esteem and lead to personal and professional growth.

7. Embarking on a fitness journey

Starting a workout regime, training for a marathon, or setting weight loss goals can be mentally and physically exhausting. But ultimately it all promotes physical and mental well-being and boosts confidence.

8. Buying a new house

There will always be a difference between a tenant and a house owner. Buying a house represents a positive life change, but also brings the stress of financial obligation, packing, moving, and adapting to a new place.

Health benefits of good stress

Good stress or positive stress can improve memory, problem-solving, and decision-making as the body’s heightened senses and increased adrenaline allow optimal cognitive processing, explains the expert. Here are some more benefits of positive stress:

1. Increases resilience

Experiencing positive stress allows people to build resilience by learning to adapt and cope with stressors effectively. This proves valuable while confronting future challenges.

2. Boosts immunity

Moderate stress can contribute to better immune system functioning. As the body becomes accustomed to producing stress hormones, it also enhances the efficiency of its immune response, says the expert.

3. Improves mental health

Challenges and achievements related to positive stress lead to increased self-belief, motivation, and feelings of accomplishment, ultimately enhancing our mental well-being.

4. Helps in personal growth

Eustress encourages people to step out of their comfort zones and explore new skills, passions, and opportunities, promoting a sense of purpose and fulfilment.

Even though there are benefits of positive stress, it is essential to maintain a balance in life. Excessive stress, even if it is positive, can lead to burnout and negatively affect overall health. So, engaging in self-care activities, such as regular exercise, meditation, and proper sleep, is crucial to ensure that our bodies and minds can recover from stress.


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