For so long, we’ve used the word “stress” and always associate it with a negative or bad experience. But if you’re like most people, you probably didn’t know that there is indeed a such thing as “good stress.” This good stress is referred to as Eustress (pronounced YOU-stress).
Eustress is a positive form of stress that boosts your energy, is motivating and exciting, and enhances your performance.
This might be a bit of a hard concept to grasp for some people simply because of how we’ve always associated stress in our lives, and that’s understandable. We associate stress with overwhelming times and events like exams and bills.
Then, on top of that, the way we cope with stress doesn’t help either… Excessive drinking, smoking, and shopping isn’t the healthiest way to overcome stress but it’s how most people cope.
Although stress is something that’s associated with being bad, without it, we wouldn’t be able to handle certain challenges and forms of excitement. The truth of the matter is that stress is truly essential to our functioning and daily processes.
Stress alerts you of danger, it can let you know that you’re not ready for a particular commitment, and it can let you know that you’ve taken on too much.
That kind of stress is described as the “bad” kind of stress. But in those “bad stress” stressful situations, it also forces you to find a solution to get out of or reduce the stressful situation you’re currently in.
For example, if your electric bill is too high living in Texas than it was when you lived in Tennessee, then you’re going to probably switch electric suppliers altogether and look for TX cheapest electric rates to reduce your bill, which will, in turn, reduce your stress levels.
But then you have Eustress… the positive stressors.
Some examples of positive stressors would be:
- Getting married
- Accepting a job promotion
- Having a baby
- Catering a wedding
- Buying your first house
Those events can be stressful but do you see how the outcome of the stress is positive? These stressors help you to live a more positive and meaningful life.
They also help you to rise to the occasion if the event is challenging. But even with eustress, it can still be hard to see the positive in it at times.
Things like giving up or quitting are the result of putting a negative focus on a stressful situation because you feel like it’s out of your realm of completion or comfort.
Below, you’ll find some helpful strategies to embrace eustress in situations with positive outcomes that are sometimes hard to see at first.
Strategies to Embrace Eustress
Speak Reassuring Affirmations Daily
Affirmations are helpful, positive, and motivating phrases to reassure and encourage yourself to take on the stressors of your life. Some people like to say these affirmations on a daily basis and some like to say them when they are confronted with eustress. Some daily affirmations to speak everyday or in eustress situations include:
- “Eustress is a good thing.”
- “This isn’t a challenge but more so an opportunity to rise to the occasion.”
- “I’m not going to run from eustress, I’m going to learn and grow from it.”
- “I’m feeling eustress… I can do this!”
All of these affirmations are positive responses, whether you say them aloud or to yourself, to stressful situations, reassuring yourself that you can handle anything that comes your way.
Believe and Trust in Your Resilience
Throughout your life, you’ve probably dealt with situations that forced you to be strong… You’ve even probably been in situations where you’ve been knocked down but still was able to get right back up. That is what you would call your resilience.
The ability to never give up is one of the many gifts to be thankful for, because there are lots of people in this world who wouldn’t be able to bounce back from some of the things you’ve been through, and those who never have as well.
You have to understand that stress is something that no one is immune to and is unavoidable. In knowing that, if you can believe in your resilience to overcome whatever life throws at you, you’ll be in a better position and frame of mind to handle it… Trust and believe you’re more capable than you give yourself credit for.
Keep a Mood or Feelings Journal
No matter how much you try to deny it, we are all emotional creatures with feelings, granted some people are more emotional than others, we all have feelings and need to get them out sometimes, and keeping a mood or feelings journal is a great way to handle the eustress you encounter on a daily basis.
Consider keeping a small to midsized journal with you. Every time you feel eustress, write down what exactly triggered you to feel eustress, what kind of mood were you in, what did you do to relieve your eustress, and what will you do the next time that type of eustress arises?
Asking yourself these questions and answering them will help you better handle those situations in the future. Sometimes certain situations can make you feel drained, and you only feel that way because you’ve spent your energy handling that situation the wrong way.
By preparing yourself with a journal, you’ll actually feel energized and more confident because you know exactly how to handle the situation.