How Stressful Feelings Helps Us
The word stress may make most of us cringe. The very thought can conjure up scenarios we would rather not think about. It is the known for the harm and damage it can do to the body physically, psychologically and emotionally.
This happens through extreme or constant tension. Many make it their aim to eliminate stressors from their lives, in hope of a peaceful existence. There is however, good stress.
What is it, and what makes it different? How does good stress effect the body? What are the benefits?
What is it? It is a situation in which the brain receives a message that the body needs to be alert. It triggers the release of certain chemicals such as cortisol, epinephrine or adrenaline and nonepinephrine into the body.
These chemicals raise the heart rate, increase blood pressure and sharpens the senses. You are now ready for action. If confronted with danger, this response is also known as 'flight or fight'. Your body is preparing you to take leave quickly or to stay and fight or deal with the circumstance on hand.
This is the physiological process that occurs when we are faced with stressful situations.
Bad or negative stress produces feeling such as anxiety, worry, fear or anger.
Good or positive stressors are motivating and helps one to make changes for the better. It promotes a feeling of accomplishment. It also serves as a protection. For example, we spoke of the 'flight or fight' response, this is important. It keeps us alert and out of danger. Prolonged exposure, however, produces a negative or bad stress.
Besides a protection from immediate danger or the ability to act quickly in the face of a threatening situation, good stress has other benefits too. The body's response is to keep it alert. Good stress can keep us responsive. Mild stressors faced during the day, such as meeting a deadline, or other demands of routine daily life keep up alert. Our efficiency and memory are improved. We can tackle daily tasks such as meeting a deadline with full use of our senses. Afterward, there is a sense of accomplishment.
More though is also associated with good stressors. It has been shown that mild and normal in amounts and duration, can boost immune function. This is a protection from disease and infection. Our memory is improved and we are ready to take action. This leads to being able to make good decisions and beneficial changes.
So, far from having to eliminate tensions completely from our lives, it is a process that is good for us. The goal should be to channel good energy into productive action! Positive effects of stress are many and as long as we manage it well it can make us more productive.