The good and bad stress
Pressure creates stress. Expectations, deadlines, or anything the task demands is the pressure.
The pressure makes you work faster, better and pushes you to cross your own limits.
Until a particular point.
Beyond that point, it starts to become bad.
The bad stress. The pressure pushes you to the limits and beyond. It breaks you. Leads to exhaustion, Anxiety — and diminishes your performance.
In fact, it won’t let you perform.
At this stage, your attention has fallen apart. Everything becomes hard and unmanageable.
But, that’s only distress.
The stress can be good.
Actually essential to achieve your peak performance. If not, it triggers you to the ‘flow’ state of peak performance with ease.
The “good stress” is the result of “positive pressure”.
Eustress is a form of stress that brings about a sense of excitement, motivation, and fulfillment.
Ingredients of Eustress
- Challenge. The one you can face. The one you can solve — not easily but solvable with a little higher effort of yours than your normal day-to-day puzzles in work.
- Not Overwhelming.
- Clear goals.
- Interesting. New Experience. A feeling of anticipation, the excitement of what is to come. Adventurous — why not?
- Rewarding — Sometimes the process itself feels more than rewarding.
In short, either you choose a task that you’re passionate about or make the task more interesting and rewarding.
Benefits of Eustress
- Heightened alertness — increased focus.
- Better performance.
- Extremely effective.
- No need to feel exhausted — even after saving the world on that day.
Stress is not always bad.
Remember, you can’t convert distress into eustress.
Just identify which is which. Pick and avoid based on your understanding of good and bad stress.
Stress is unavoidable. But you have two choices. Either you choose ‘eustress’ or let the ‘distress’ choose you.