Is Stress Ever Good for You?

Is Stress Ever Good for You?

Is Stress Ever Good for You?

Just hearing the word “stress” can make anyone stressed out. We tend only to use this term when talking about pressure, annoyances, strife, and being out of balance. But did you know stress comes in many forms — including positive forms? Going to the gym is a form of stress, but it’s so good for you. So is taking on new creative projects, learning something new, and visiting places you’ve never been.

These practices involve stress, but in a good way. This kind of stress energizes you. It makes you feel excited and happy to be alive. The trick is to maximize the good stress while reducing the bad stress.

4 Ways to Reduce Bad Stress

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Practice Self-Care

Find methods that enhance your well-being and build your resistance. Make them part of your daily life.

Examples include:

Set Boundaries

Get comfortable saying no. If you need time to rest, make it happen. Taking control of your time is a powerful step toward swinging the good stress/bad stress scales in your favor. A useful way to do this is to recognize what is and isn’t under your control. Such awareness guides you to expend your energy more wisely.

Actively Choose Positive Thoughts 

You can become stressed without anything stressful happening. Negative thoughts create stress for people. Commit to a habit of actively finding positive perspectives to every situation. Choose to practice gratitude on a daily or hourly basis!

Ask for Help

We are social creatures and do best when we have a close community to lean on. Trusted friends and family members provide you with a compassionate ear and a helping hand. Resist the urge to isolate when feeling stressed.

Is Stress Ever Good for You? Yes!

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Four of the numerous positive effects of healthy stress in our lives are outlined below:

1. Resiliency

Stressful situations — both good and bad — have a way of preparing us for future events. We’re tougher, more experienced, and have better coping skills. Positive stressful moments help us better understand what we like and want. We learn about our limits and our capabilities. As a result, we feel more in control whenever other stressful episodes arise. 

2. Cognitive Benefits

Good stress is a great workout for your brain. You improve important cognitive aspects and outcomes like productivity, memory, attention span, and more. This just may be why some athletes seem to rise to the occasion. Coming through in the clutch, so to speak, is not limited to sporting events. In everyday life, it’s an extremely useful attribute to have as you navigate the inevitable ups and downs you face.

3. Enhanced Immunity 

Intense stress launches us into a fight-or-flight response that floods our bodies with stress hormones. However, good stress only releases a low dose of such chemicals. At these levels, stress hormones can increase your body’s ability to fight off infections and heal wounds. You might even say it’s the most natural medicine a human can experience. 

4. Advanced Child Development

Pregnant women are logically advised to take steps to reduce stress and anxiety. However, those who experience good forms of stress just may set up their baby for the rapid development of early developmental skills. 

Never Downplay Stress This post is not meant to give everyone permission to view stress as atomically good news. Chronic stress is never the ideal.

Contact Integrative Psychotherapy Group

If you feel like your life is a pressure cooker, we encourage you to ask for help. Additionally, if you feel unable to fully discern between good and bad stress, contact our experienced therapists at Integrative Psychotherapy Group today and schedule a free and confidential consultation to learn more.