Can stress be good for us?
“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.” - Eckhart Tolle
What is stress and how it affects us?
It is a state of mind where a person feels mental or emotional pressure because of a demanding situation.
Examples of demanding situation:
Receiving a promotion: When someone gets promoted they are given additional responsibilities and they will now have more accountability.
Starting a new job: A new job comes with a new environment, learning and new responsibilities which creates stress.
Marriage: It is a very different kind of stress as you are going to start a new life with your partner in a new atmosphere.
Having a child: It is new experience as your responsibility increases as a parent. You have some plans for the future.
Buying a home: It is a huge investment, we put all our life’s savings in it. It is a big decision because we spend our hard-earned money.
Learning a new subject: It is a situation where a person is tensed regarding the subject he opted. Is this type of learning fruitful for her or not? There are some questions which arise in the mind and create stress.
How many types of stress are there?
It can be categorized into two parts.
Eustress (Positive stress): It is a perception of an individual of a demanding situation where one performs a task effectively after planning to get desired results. Eustress has: hope, perseverance, motivation, excitement, better focus and better quality.
Distress (Negative stress): Occurs when a person is unable to cope up with a demanding situation. This happens due to internal feelings such as fear, anxiety, continuous bad thoughts including nightmares or worrying. Some of the important characteristics of Distress are: unpleasant feeling, low efficiency and ability to perform, leads to physical and mental problems.
How can we make stress good for us?
We can use stress as a strength. Let's discuss this in detail.
1. Beneficial and motivating: Stress can become our friend in difficult circumstances if we have a positive attitude towards it.
For example: A demanding situation like receiving a promotion if perceived as an opportunity for our own betterment in terms of more visibility in the organisation and better pay package and growth will give us hope, perseverance and motivation.
2. Efficiency and productivity: It is psychologically proven that moderate stress level at work can improve your efficiency to work and leads to higher productivity. A person is able to handle multiple tasks at a time and perform effectively. Moderate stress in life can provide us with developed thinking ability to accomplish our tasks in less time.
For example: A situation in which a person starts a new job and wants to accomplish the tasks in less time, positive stress in such a demanding situation will give us tremendous results.
3. Value the opportunity: We should understand the value of opportunity as this can make us stronger and successful individual. Opportunities give us a better chance to prove ourselves and become better and successful in different fields. We should observe these testing opportunities as a gift rather than a disaster in our life.
For example: Learning a new subject can give us various opportunities to excel in different fields. It enhances our knowledge and improve our practical skills.
4. Way of perception: It is said that the majority of the problems exists in the way we perceive things. Sometimes people feel stressed because they believe that they are living a miserable life. They make a situation negative by perceiving it with a serious and negative approach. We should adjust accordingly to the situation whatever is happening as the bad times upholds good results. We have to change our mindset and focus on positive alternatives.
For example: While confronting the demanding situations, it is advised to focus on the end result instead of paying attention to the obstacles. This attitude will help you to stay focused and away from negative stress.
5. Gratitude: When a person is having a problem in life, then one must have a feeling of gratitude for what one has. Moderate stress can make you realize what you have. You generally feel good about yourself and happy with the life that you are leading in the present.
For example: A moderate stress level in a demanding situation can make you realize the importance of little things such as family, child and mutual understanding with your partner.
In conclusion, it is apt to say that stress is good for us in many ways. It is helpful in achieving our goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle.