Good Stress vs. Bad Stress
What is stress anyway?
Stress is your body’s reaction to internal and external stimuli. External stimuli can be things like a new job, a move to a new city, marriage, and overworking. Internal stimuli are feelings that come from inside, for example, the need for perfection or the need to please others, fear of change, and self-esteem issues. Whatever the triggers may be, stress can produce either negative or positive reactions. An appropriate amount of stress is necessary in our lives, but too much stress is harmful.
Because stress is a natural part of life, we need some of it to make life more interesting and exciting. Without any stress we would feel bored and unmotivated, because in proper doses stress adds flavor, challenge, and opportunities to our life. Therefore, “good stress” is stress that inspires and motivates us to rise to a challenge, making us realize more of our potential. Experiencing good stress makes us feel stronger and more confident in our abilities to take on whatever hardships life brings our way.
Our bodies, however, cannot distinguish between good and bad stress because both excitement and anxiety drain the body’s resources, depress the immune system, and overload your brain functions. Stress that lasts too long, happens too often, or is too strong is “bad stress”. This is the type of stress that is harmful to your health, and doesn’t help us achieve goals and tasks. It actually inhibits your ability to function on a daily basis, and leaves you depleted, tired and anxious. Negative stress takes a huge toll on your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. It weakens your immune system and causes perspiration, muscle stiffness, headaches and trouble breathing. In addition, bad stress makes your body store fat easier, and makes it harder to lose extra weight. Further stress can cause mental and emotional problems, insomnia, panic attacks, and even alcohol and drug abuse.
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