4 Benefits of Positive Stress?
Yeah, stress can be positive too…
Stress has a bad reputation. We don’t like it, even if it accompanies us most of the time. However, have you considered what would happen if we completed all of the challenges with a minimum activation level? We are talking about positive stress here!!.
Stress is a part of everyday life for many people around the world. Its negative aspect, called distress, is characterized by its negative impact on health. However, there is a completely beneficial type of stress! We invite you here to discover the benefits of positive stress.
Hans Selye is the originator of the concept of beneficial stress. This stress is characterized by a short lifespan and a great contribution to the positive development of people. This differentiates it from acute stress, which lasts longer and is a source of suffering and illness.
1) Motivation and adaptation
The main use of this psychological construct is to improve our ability to cope with challenges. Namely everyday problems, situations that exceed our resources, or the various challenges posed by the environment. This improvement in our ability to cope with times of stress is, in turn, associated with greater motivation.
One of the areas that can greatly benefit from positive stress is work. Indeed, stress is very useful in this area, because it allows us to approach any change in a targeted manner.
Thus, among the benefits of beneficial stress are improved skills such as creativity or improved proactivity and productivity. These skills allow us to be more change-oriented and to broaden perspectives that we might have overlooked before. Stress, unlike distress, pushes us forward.
2) An activity under control
Positive stress can be activated in controlled risk situations. These activities include bungee jumping, rafting, running, horseback riding, or skydiving, among others. Surely you know someone who experiences stimulating effects when doing one or more of these activities.
These people are likely to tell you that before performing them, they experience a subjective feeling of anxiety along with some characteristic signs of this condition, such as palpitations, tremors, or a feeling of suffocation. This anxiety subsides as the activity progresses.
For example, think of the moment just before parachuting from a plane. Anxiety is usually very high at this time. But it dissipates at the time of the jump and decreases more as the fall.
3) Emotional security and stability
Beneficial stress also allows us to improve our internal locus of control. That is the assurance that our actions have a direct effect on our lives and that we are in control of them. The feeling of vulnerability is thus minimized.
In turn, this improvement in the perception of mastery of situations helps to guarantee our emotional stability. Since stress is not long-lasting but is activated at specific times, it is less likely that emotional lability will appear and, therefore, our emotional health is at risk.
4) Energy and vitality
Another benefit of positive stress is that it activates the moment we leave our comfort zone. Namely of this place where we feel protected and safe. Faced with a new challenge, this beneficial stress prompts us to react. This allows us to stay alert and increase the speed of our reflexes.
Therefore, it provides us with energy and vitality. These two elements increase the desire to perform physical activities to channel all this vital force. Likewise, positive stress is associated with the production of dopamine, a hormone linked to happiness.
It is important to note that zero stress is not recommended. Stress is adaptive and not feeling it at times causes us to stagnate. This lack of activation or alertness is likely to decrease our creativity and we may be more prone to boredom. And it ends up wreaking havoc.
Now that we know the many benefits of positive stress, you may want to put some strategies in place to activate it. You can breathe deeply, play sports, deal with negative thoughts, and adjust the perspective with which you deal with issues.