What You Need to Know About Good Stress

When we can identify the positive sources of stress in our lives, we can see how it adds meaning to our day-to-day.

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When you’re stressed out, you probably don’t stop to ask yourself if you’re experiencing “good stress.” In fact, you may be surprised to hear that there’s even such a thing as good stress. But the truth is, good stress is the kind that makes life exciting. It often comes from manageable and welcome change; it leaves us feeling motivated or hopeful. For example, getting a promotion may initially cause stress, but it’s an exciting change and an accomplishment. And when we can identify when we’re experiencing good stress, we can manage that kind of stress accordingly and use it to our advantage.

Here are four important things to know about good stress:

1. Good stress can add richness to your life.

Think of a meaningful work project, a relationship you’re working on, a goal you’re trying to achieve. These are all moments that could feel stressful, but they are experiences that challenge us in a positive way. Thinking of these situations as bringing good stress helps you find meaning in these experiences.

2. We want to keep good stress in our lives.

We often think of stress as something we should avoid, but a life without challenges or change would be unfulfilling and boring. That’s why it’s important to recognize and keep the good stress in our lives that sparks motivation or excitement. For example, you may experience stress before a big presentation at work, but that stress can actually help you feel more focused and determined to perform at your best.

3. Good stress can propel us forward.

When we embrace these types of moments and the inherent stresses that come with them, we allow ourselves to grow and live more purposeful lives. The key is taking stock of the good stress as it comes. For example, the next time you’re feeling stressed, pause to reflect on whether that stress is propelling you forward or holding you back. You may discover that the stress you’re facing can work to your advantage and push you to achieve your goals and aspirations.

4. Good stress can help us step outside our comfort zones.

Embracing good stress is about saying “yes” to life and welcoming vulnerability. New experiences can seem intimidating, but by stepping outside our comfort zones, we can adopt a mindset of continuous learning and growth, acquire new skills, and open ourselves up to new opportunities. So commit to trying one new thing — even if it’s small. Not only will taking on a new challenge allow you to experience good stress, but it will also help you keep your bad stress in perspective.

Published on
April 4, 2024
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