“Good” Stress and Befriending Any Stress

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By now we may have learned more about some of the causes of stress and some of the negative effects that “bad” stress can have on our health.
Here’s a quick recap: When we are in a state of stress our bodies increase the stress hormone, cortisol. When we don’t have strategies in place to help manage stress, it can lead to the negative side of stress.


Here are some physical, emotional and mental symptoms of stress:
– Aches and pains
– Chest pain or a feeling like your heart is racing
– Exhaustion or trouble sleeping
– Headaches, dizziness or shaking
– High blood pressure
– Muscle tension or jaw clenching
– Stomach or digestive problems
– Weakened immune system
– Anxiety or irritability
– Depression
– Panic attacks


No one wants to experience any of that.

Oftentimes it is our resistance to stress and the unknown of how to potentially overcome stress that ends up having a large impact on our overall stress.
As we discussed in one of our previous blogs Managing Stress Through Control, we address ways to plan, manage and even prevent “bad” stress.
So what about “good” stress?

One important thing we sometimes miss when talking about stress is that sometimes stress can be good for you.
Stress is something our bodies are naturally adapt to experience. Experiencing stress helps our bodies adjust to challenging and changing situations that will happen throughout our lives.

Think of good stress like exercising. It feels hard and stressful at times on our bodies, but it’s building our bodies ability to handle other stressors that may come along that are outside of our control.

There are many benefits to “good” stress.

Stress can serve as a valuable tool for us. It can push our levels of ambition, our courage to step outside of our comfort zone to experience growth, and can help us become more resilient to “bad” stress.


Here is an additional list of how “good” stress can benefit us:
– Improves senses and cognitive function
– Improves our immune system
– Improves our social connection


So what can you do from here?

Reframe stress to befriend it.

“When you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress.” The Daily Calm
So how do we reframe stress to “Befriend it”?

First off, we accept it. We accept that stress is an inevitable part of life. Whether it’s good stress that is typically within our control, or bad stress which is typically out of our control. If we accept it’s coming our way we can better prepare and plan for it.
Then we acknowledge it. We reflect on what causes it, how we react in the moment to it, and how we handle or manage it in a way that is supportive for our growth?

Finally we allow it. Whether in moments of good stress or bad stress, we can’t change the fact that stress will happen to us. And as we previously mentioned, the more we try to resist it, the more it tends to have a negative outcome on us. So allow good stress to happen to you in a way that allows you to grow. Allow bad stress to flow through you and not stay stagnant. Use every opportunity that stress presents itself in your life as a way to reflect and grow towards the best version of yourself.

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