What is positive stress?

What is positive stress?
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Not all stress is the same. While negative stress (distress) is harmful to your health in the long run, positive stress, also called eustress, enables you to surpass yourself. Often people remain in situations with negative stress for a longer period of time, be it at work or in their private lives. Since these unpleasant situations are often tolerated over a long period of time, the people affected do not even notice that they are negatively stressed. At some point, however, the body pulls the emergency brake, it comes to burnout, with all the negative consequences for their own health. Without stress, which scientists often call the spice of life, we humans could not live at all. Even negative stress cannot always be completely avoided in everyday life. However, if you know the characteristics of eustress, you will have more and more fun and enjoy the fact that positive stress is becoming increasingly established in your own life.

Eustress has positive effects in the long term

The division between negative stress, distress, and eustress is not that old. These two basic types of stress were first introduced to a wider audience in 1988 by the physician Hans Seyle. Positive stress has just as much effect on body, mind and soul as negative stress. However, while positive stress has mostly pleasant and good effects, even in the long term, it is just the opposite with negative stress. So you should do everything you can to avoid negative stress as much as possible. Regardless of the negative or positive stress variant, stress has been anchored in humans since time immemorial. For our ancestors, stress was even important for survival. When so-called stressors appeared, at that time for example wild, dangerous animals, an escape program from these dangers was immediately activated. These subliminal programs are still active in us humans today, even though the dangers of prehistoric times have long since disappeared.

Stress is regulated in the complicated set of rules of the organism by the nervous system with certain hormone glands. However, knowledge of this allows us nowadays to intervene much better in stress cascades so that positive stress, eustress, gains the upper hand. Without stress, of course, life would be boring and dull. A certain amount of stress is therefore indispensable for a good life. It only ever becomes harmful when negative stress leads to a person becoming ill in the long term. Often, negative stress has such a sickening effect that a real stress spiral develops, from which those affected can no longer find their way out without outside help. It is not only about professional stress, but also about leisure time stress or stress that arises when you can no longer fall asleep at all. So you wake up already stressed and the day is actually over before it has really begun. But of course you don’t have to let it get that far.

Stress is the salt in the soup

The best way to think of stress is as a spice, such as salt. Without salt, soup tastes bland, but with too much, the soup is oversalted and inedible. The prefix Eu in the word eustress comes from the Greek language and means good. Eustress therefore refers to good, beneficial stress. Positive stress has the potential to awaken additional and often undreamt-of powers in you, which lie dormant in the depths of your subconscious. Through positive stress you can literally get the best out of yourself. You are in the flow, you know exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it, and you visibly enjoy it. Eustress simply makes you achieve more, you feel how you can go beyond yourself and yet your batteries do not get emptier but fuller. Positive stress enables you not to be afraid of seemingly challenging tasks or situations. Because you feel that you are up to these challenges.

Eustress as a creative engine

Eustress also ensures that you can concentrate much better on a particular activity. You are completely focused on the task at hand, don’t get distracted, and can distinguish between the important and the unimportant. Whenever you are in a phase of highest creativity, positive stress is also an important part of it. Because eustress as a motor of undreamt-of creativity releases abilities in you that you have never even dreamed of before. Positive stress can therefore bring to full fruition the potential that already exists in you but has been buried. This is not only important when performing activities, but also when interacting with others or when achieving personal goals. That’s why eustress is also an important part of personality development or the unfolding of your creative parts, which unfortunately remain buried in many people throughout their lives.

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Last but not least, positive stress also helps you to recognize exactly what your place is in life and what you actually want. So, for the sake of your valuable life time, you should never permanently remain in situations that drag you down or even make you sick. All these are signs of negative stress. Positive stress, on the other hand, often increases your alertness. It provides for more joy of life on all levels and increases your creative power. Eustress always unfolds your personal creativity and helps you to achieve optimal performance without getting sick. Eustress increases your motivation and inspires you to peak performance without diminishing your personal power. So there are many good reasons to identify negative stress at an early stage and then, as best you can, establish eustress permanently in your life.