Eustress is good stress!  In life we need to be challenged and supported.  Finding the balance is what this article is about.  Viveka is sanskrit for pain and discernment.  We need to use this when it comes to the way we perceive stress in our daily lives. 

Many people are unaware there are two categories of stress: eustress and distress.  

Eustress is the good stress that motivates you to continue working. Stress can be a motivater and provide incentive to get the job done. This "good stress" is what eustress can be identified as and some people enjoy it. Everyone needs a little bit of stress in their life in order to continue to be happy, motivated, challenged and productive. It is when this stress is no longer tolerable and/or manageable that distress comes in.

Distress is when the good stress becomes too much to cope with. Tension builds, there is no longer any fun in the challenge, there seems to be no end in sight. This is the kind of stress most of us are familiar with and this is the kind of stress that leads to poor decision making. Physiological symptoms of distress include and increase in blood pressure, rapid breathing and generalized tension. Behavioral symptoms include overeating, loss of appetite, drinking, smoking and negative coping mechanisms.

Our society teaches us that everything should be jolly all the time and we have become addicted to pushing away the bad.  If we feel stressed, we want a quick fix to maintain the belief that everything should always be fine all of the time.  

Now one of our biggest health issues is stress. Stress has been labelled as bad because it doesn’t fit into the above societal condition, which stresses people out even more.  Stress is all perceptual.  The word stress was not even coined until the 1960's!  Before this you would never hear people say, "I'm so stressed!"

Once we perceive something as a stressor we have to cope and usually by grabbing a quick fix which could be drugs, alcohol, sugar or medication.  

“When the American Psychological Association started its annual stress survey in 2007, people perceived a moderate level of stress as ideal.  Now, survey participants perceive that same moderate level of stress as unhealthy.”

The bad news is that you will never get rid of stress.  Stress plays a vital role in our lives.  The good news is that how you perceive stress plays a role in how it affects you.

Stress tolerance is the power to endure stress. If you feel stress, lose against it or not, all depends on your stress tolerance. A person's tolerance to stress is different for depending on the time and condition. The trick to coping with stress is not to expect that you can eliminate it; but rather, to manage the symptoms of stress.

Ways to Become Stress-Resistant

  • Stop feeling guilty
  • Be decisive
  • Avoid perfectionism
  • Set priorities for yourself
  • Stop procrastinating
  • Praise yourself
  • Live a balanced lifestyle

Stress builds resilience.  It’s like a muscle and you can build that muscle through your perception of both challenge and stress.


Yours in health,