Well Amy, you’re right in that it involves stress but it’s what is known as a “good” stress. Imagine waking up one morning and the first thing that happens is your boss calls you at home saying you have to do a presentation at work at 9am for an audience of 100 people. It’s on a topic you don’t really know about but oh well…you’ve been nominated! Wow!! talk about stress! You aren’t prepared, you have no plan and you are completely out of your comfort zone. That is in a word “BAD” stress…ok two words actually.
Eustress is what is known as good stress. A certain amount of stress is needed in our day just to keep us doing things. Now imagine you want to lose weight…say 5 pounds in 6 weeks. You research online, maybe even hire a trainer to help you develope a plan, tell all your friends what your goal is so that you have lots of support and embark on your journey. Since you now have a goal and a time frame in which to achieve it, you feel eager and motivated. That feeling of excitment and determination to get the goal completed is a good stress….or eustress (It’s even from the greek word EU meaning good!!)
That type of stress will help give you the energy to complete your daily goals and in the long term, eustress is what keeps you motivated to keep working on things. So when challenging ourselves in a good way to reach a goal, we have a good stress keeping us focused.
However…have you ever heard the saying “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” I think that’s how it goes…or maybe I just made it up, who knows. Stress is mostly in the mind and whether stress is good or bad is dependant on how we react to it. Do we callapse in a crying mess at the first sign of a challenging situation (bad stress) or do we rise to the challenge when faced with a new situation. It all depends on how in control we feel in a situation.
Finally….yes, you can change a bad stress into a good stress. It’s not easy and it won’t happen overnight but all stress is in the eye of the beholder. Whenever a new challenge comes your way, whether it’s a fitness/health challenge or from work or family, find ways in which you can face it in a positive way.