May 8, 2017

People have many ways of defining stress. Ask anyone what stress is and all you’ll hear are negative reactions. Harvard’s Medical Dictionary of Health Terms defines it as “an innate survival response in which certain hormones are released, increasing blood flow to the brain or heart.” You’d think that stress is bad for you, yes? Well, yes and no.

While it’s true that stress is linked to health hazards such as sleep disorders, acne, weight gain, and hair loss, like all things, there is a good side to it as well. Such an occurrence is called eustress, also known as the “good” stress, which yields positive implications and benefits. According to renowned endocrinologist and researcher Hans Selye, stress is “the body’s nonspecific response to any demand, whether it is caused by or results in pleasant or unpleasant stimuli.” So, what makes stress the good guy in this story?

Better mindset, healthier life.

Your mindset matters

At the end of the day, it all boils down to how you deal with the problem in front of you. Because of the millions of negative connotations surrounding stress, we tend to forget that it’s actually possible to turn the table around. Think of overhauling your perspective. You can use stress to increase productivity and challenge yourself. Stress keeps you on your toes, making you more focused on the task at hand. Shifting your mindset into a more constructive state will make you realize that you care more about the outcome than the pressure the work entails.

Soon it will be easier for you to navigate through nerve-racking situations once you accept and embrace the fact that stress is, naturally, a part of life. Exploring the positive aspects of stress can lead to better mental health, as stress is actually a cognitive enhancer. Another good form of stress is exercise. It increases physical endurance because of the adrenaline being released into the bloodstream, which speeds up the heart rate and metabolism. This means that the more mentally exhausted you are, the more you should motivate yourself to hit the gym and break a sweat. Mind over matter.

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