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The two sides of stress: distress and eustress

https://nesslabs.com/distress-and-eustress

nesslabs.com

The two sides of stress: distress and eustress
Stress is not always bad. Depending on the particular stressors and your reaction, stress can be detrimental (distress) or beneficial (eustress).

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Not all stress is bad

Not all stress is bad

A common misconception is that stress is bad and should be minimized at all cost.

However, depending on the particular stressors and your reaction, stress can be harmful (distress) or beneficial (eustress).

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Distress versus eustress

Distress causes anxiety, while eustress is exciting. Distress can lead to procrastination, while eustress increases motivation.

Distress can impact your productivity, creativity, and mental health. Eustress is a short-term response and makes you feel energized and focused when faced with a challenge you think you can handle.

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Benefits of eustress

Eustress has many benefits, especially for ambitious people who enjoy an exciting challenge.

  • Flow. When in flow, our attention is fully engaged, enjoying the absorption.
  • Resilience. Eustress is based on perception and helps you to react more positively to challenging situations.
  • Self-efficacy. Your judgment of how you carry out a required task is a measure of your level of self-efficacy. People with high self-efficacy may set higher goals and be motivated to achieve them.

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How to foster eustress

Eustress is a positive reaction to stress and is based on perception. The potential sources of eustress vary between people.

Examples of stress which are commonly seen as positive include learning a new skill, starting a new job, going on a holiday, starting a family, moving, playing competitive sports or challenging video games, or having a complex but constructive debate.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Eustress: The Good Stress

Eustress: The Good Stress

Most of us think of stress as something negative, akin to anxiety.

  • Positive stress, also called eustress, is the other end of the spectrum where exciting, stressful events ...

Eustress: Outside The Comfort Zone

Eustress makes us grow emotionally (inspiration), psychologically (resilience) and physically (body-building challenge).

Eustress creates excitement, satisfaction, fulfilment, meaning, well-being and the satisfaction of a challenge. It is something positive that is taking us out of our comfort zone. Example: Relocating due to getting a new job in a different city.

Eustress In Life

  • At work, eustress is the fine balance when tackling a challenging project, which is not unrealistic. Distress is what comes from impossible projects, impositions and toxic work culture.
  • Our hobbies and personal interests have to be moderately challenging and provide us with fulfilment and satisfaction. One has to be in the learning zone, which leads to growth.
  • Travel is stressful yet thrilling and is always a great learning experience.
  • Exercise is basically stressing out your body to improve strength, muscle growth and stamina.

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Understanding Stress

  • Dealing with Stress is imperative as it is unavoidable in modern life.
  • Our work, family and our finances create daily stress and other external factors (like politics and terrorism) co...

Your Perception About Stress

With stress, the mind and the body are intrinsically linked. You can view stress as something that is wreaking havoc on your body (and it can) or as something that is giving you the strength and energy to overcome adversity.

Exposure to Stress

Regular exposure to stress in small quantities can prepare us to handle a big stressful event in our lives. Prepare yourself for stress by self-education about the stressful event, by doing some physically stressful activities like completing a marathon, or something you dread, like giving a speech.

Repeated exposure to mildly stressful conditions can alter your body’s biological response to stress, making you manage stress in a better way.

Motivation is a complex process

Motivation is a complex process

Motivation is a complex process to explain or to realize fully.

Motives are internal experiences that can be categorized into needs, cognitions, and emotions that are influenced by envi...

Motivational strategies that show success

  • Teachers that plan lessons to be interesting, curiosity-provoking, and personally inspiring have better success in motivating their students to read.
  • Leaders have better success in motivating their employees when they take the employees' perspective and invite them to create their own self-endorsed work goals.
  • Parents are more successful when they try to truly understand why their children don't want to do something and then take the time to explain to them the benefits of the activity.

Most successful interventions do not try to change another person's motivation or emotion directly. Instead, they make changes to the person's environmental conditions and the quality of his or her relationships to encourage them to leave behind neglectful or abusive ones.

The basic psychological needs

According to Self-Determination Theory, there are three basic psychological needs which we want to satisfy:

  • Autonomy (self-determination). We are motivated when we have a choice in terms of tasks, time, team, and technique.
  • Competence (capability and effectiveness). Mastery is a mindset. When we strive toward something greater than ourselves, it demands effort.
  • Affiliation needs (association and belonging). We are motivated to form long-lasting positive relationships with others.

External rewards do not work because we don't do rule-based routine tasks. Instead, we need to create environments where intrinsic motivation thrives, where we can gain satisfaction from the activities themselves.