We heard a lot about stress and their effects on health. A lot of research work goes into finding how to manage stress. This has come as a surprise to me how stress can be good. Having no stress should be good actually but that makes one lethargic, lazy, dull, unenthusiastic and with no excitement. If the stress is good, one is full of energy, positive and successful too.
Eustress is a term coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye. The prefix eu- derives from the Greek word meaning either “well” or “good”, hence term literally means “good stress”. As explored in a stress model by Richard Lazarus, it is the positive cognitive response to stress that is healthy or gives one, a feeling of fulfilment or other positive feelings. Eustress refers to a positive response one has to a stressor with a sense of meaning, hope or vigour.
Much of the research on eustress has focused on its presence in the workplace. Stress can often be interpreted as a challenge, which generally denotes positive eustress or as a hindrance, which refers to distress that interferes with one’s ability to accomplish a job or task.
The characteristics of eustress are it motivates, focuses energy, is short-term, exciting, improves performance and is within our coping capabilities. Source of good stress are activities that make you feel good, happy and excited about life. Examples are:
- Physical exercise.
- Playing sports.
- Watching fun movies.
- Going on a Holiday.
- New born baby.
- Buying a home.
- Taking a vacation.
- Receiving a promotion at work.
Any activity that gives happiness are examples. The benefits of eustress range from short term to long term. In short term one get motivated by the activity. In the long term, good stress helps promote emotional balance, confidence, a sense of being wanted and needed, and a general feeling of being in harmony with the rest of the world. All these positive benefits show their impact on decreasing illhealth and ailments.