When good stress goes bad...

We hear so much about the bad stress in our life, but can good things stress us out too? Well it can!

OK. Lets start with some stress terms:

Acute Stress: Demands and pressures of the resent past and of the near future.

Episodic Acute Stress: Type "A" people, living their lives with an excessive competition drive, harrying sense of urgency, and impatience. Also can cover "worry warts" who pessimistically see awful outcomes for every situation.

Chronic Stress: Grinding stress that comes from things like poverty, war, hunger, and traumatic experiences.

Episodic and Chronic stress tend to be distress, negative stress. Lifestyle and personality are so ingrained that we see nothing wrong with the way we conduct our lives. People get used to it, almost forget it's there, build up a tolerance, loose hope in finding a way to change things, and can even feel comfortable in a level of stress that would send others over the edge.

But acute stress can be both negative (distress) and positive (eustress).

Eustress can help us focus, help us improve performace and can even feel exciting.

Distress causes anxiety or concern, decreases performance, and feels unpleasant.

But the line between the two can change in in instant. Excited about the new custom order quickly can turn into sleepless nights worrying about making a tight deadline.

Does this tell me anything? Does it help make my stress disappear? A little, at least when it comes to acute stress.

Perception. Hold on to that eustress feeling. Try to remember why you got excited about something in the first place. Remind yourself that this is an acute stress, it shall pass. Just knowing the switch from eustress to distress may be on the way can make that switch to distress seem less painful and hard to deal with. Count your blessings, if you are not living in chronic stress, find gratefulness in every day.

Stress is not something to be proud of, to ear on our chest like a badge. He who dies with the most stress doesn't win, they just die. Go have some fun :)

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