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Why stress can be a good thing

anna.serlachius, Kommentit: 0
When we think of stress we almost inevitably think of the negative effects of stress. However stress can also be thought of in terms of 'good stress' or what the famous researcher and Endocrinologist Hans Selye termed eustress.

I am sure you can relate to that positive buzz you get when you are on a tight deadline, highly motivated and most of all, highly effective. This is when you view something as a challenge, rather than as a threat. Your body is undergoing a stress-response, and producing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. However, when you are experiencing positive stress you are using these hormones to your advantage. They give you energy, they help you concentrate, they improve your endurance.

So how do we avoid the type of stress that depletes our energy, makes us forgetful, and in worse case scenarios leads to burn-out? By focusing our attention on our perception of the stressor, rather than trying to avoid the stressor. We all experience stress, that is something we cannot change. However we can change how we think about stress.

Although our perceptions of a stressor are important, so is the duration of a stressor. Few people can continue experiencing positive stress if the stressor is long-term or chronic. Nevertheless, even in the face of long-term stress, positive thinking and re-framing the stressor into a meaningful challenge, remarkably improves your resilience.

In summary, Hans Selye's quote “Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one” says it all.

For more information on positive stress and performance see the following article published by the Wall Street Journal When Stress is Good For You




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