Most people think of stress as bad and detrimental, yet it may also be helpful and adaptive in some situations. People acquire stress as a normal psychological and physiological response to their environment. Eustress refers to pleasant, motivating stress that improves functioning, whereas distress refers to negative, overpowering stress that degrades functioning.
Stress is a typical reaction to “stressors,” or challenging, upsetting, or frightening internal and external conditions. Distressing memories or thoughts, body sensations like discomfort or pain, and emotions like grief or rage are all examples of internal stressors. Any worrying incident, health condition, or situation that has the potential to negatively affect a person or something they value is considered an external stressor.
When a person is exposed to a stressful situation, a chain reaction occurs in the brain and neurological system. When a problem or possible threat is detected in the brain, the sympathetic nervous system is triggered. Stress hormones and substances such as cortisol and adrenaline are injected into the bloodstream when the sympathetic nervous system is activated. The stress reaction (also known as fight or flight) is characterized by an increase in the pulse rate and breath, restless energy, and enhanced mental awareness.
When stress is triggered by real-life threats or problems, it can provide the energy, motivation, and attention needed to address or overcome the issue. Eustress is the term for this type of stress. When a person’s stress response occurs frequently or in response to trivial or unpredictable conditions, it is more likely to be seen as discomfort, which can have detrimental consequences for their mental and physical health.
This article looks at the two fundamental forms of stress, eustress, and distress. Keep reading to know more about stress and how we can turn our distress into productive, positive, or good stress.
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