Tag Archives: eustress

Stress is Not All Awful

It was really amazing the number of hard hits from which a mind could recover.
― Stephen King, Full Dark, No Stars

While we certainly cannot control many tragic events in life that will inevitably bring about painful distress (e.g., death of a loved one, breakup, betrayal by a friend), we have far more control than we realize over the way that we choose to respond to the natural, everyday stressors of life (e.g., running late, stuck in traffic, misplacing something, missing a deadline, an argument, etc.).

In 1975, the psychologist Hans Selye came up with two different terms for stress: Eustress and Distress.

Eustress is defined as a positive type of stress and enhances our functioning. It is a healthy form of stress that may motivate us toward our goals. The prefix of the word (‘eu’) is greek and stands for ‘well’ or ‘good’.
Eustress
Some common characteristics of eustress are:

Improves performance
Short-term in nature
Motivates and focuses energy
Feels invigorating/energizing;  mastering the stressor feels positive
Believed to be within our capabilities/something we can handle

Distress
Some common characteristics of distress are:
Demotivating and displaces energy
Causes anxiety, worry, or concern
Feels generally unpleasant, even painful
Decreases overall performance/abilities
May lead to physical illness/mental fatigue/emotional depletion

We handle stress differently as the result of a lifetime of repeated experiences with stressful events. Repeated experiences and our responses to them, in general, create neural pathways that can become habitual.

Habitual behavior patterns that can contribute to stress include:

Overscheduling
Failing to be assertive
Procrastination and/or failing to plan ahead
Overspending
Poor self-care, including eating, sleeping, and fitness habits
Being in negative relationships, professionally or personally
Being disorganized

Learning to manage or minimize even a few of these behavior patterns can decrease distress, and perhaps encourage eustress.

Embolden Psychology
Embolden

Embolden offers the ADOS-2, the gold standard assessment for kids on the spectrum.

Combined with psychoeducational testing, it helps provide comprehensive information and recommendations to help children and teens six and up.

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