A Superpower called Eu-Stress

The word ‘Stress’ often brings unpleasant feelings and thoughts to our mind. Like it is something that makes us feel powerless and unhappy. This is not necessarily true. Cleveland Clinic defines stress as a normal human reaction the body has when changes occur, resulting in physical, emotional and intellectual responses. When stressed our body secretes a stress hormone called Cortisol. Our body needs to secrete the optimal amount of cortisol for us to get up and move through the day. Stress gives us the energy to kick-start the day and accomplish our tasks.

However, when life gives us too many difficult situations more than what we can manage at that time, it creates an imbalance in our body and mind. We may experience discomfort in the body, have heightened emotional outbursts or even fight through racing thoughts, triggering a negative stress response resulting in a state of dis-stress. The American Psychological association defines Dis-stress as a negative stress response that involves negative effect and physiological reactivity. Dis-stress leads us to an emotionally negative state making it difficult for us to manage challenging life-situations. However, Dis-stress is just one of the disguises of Stress.

Stress also has another disguise, rather a rewarding one called as Eustress. Have you ever experienced a challenging situation and navigated through it with excitement and motivation even though it might have been overwhelming to begin with? For Instance, students may be stressed about an exam. However, they can utilize this stress to prepare well and give it their best effort. The whole journey can be a rewarding experience with a sense of accomplishment.

Eustress makes us feel joyful, excited and energized even though, there may be short moments of frustration and anxiety associated with it. This is exactly the kind of stress we need in order to thrive, perform better and have a fulfilling experience.

Is it possible to experience Eustress rather than Dis-stress? Yes it is! All it takes is to cultivate the skills and develop the confidence to manage difficult situations.

Here are 5 simple and effective skills to develop Eustress.

  1. Develop a healthy body with moderate physical exercise, balanced food and restful sleep
  2. Live in the present moment by practicing awareness and mindful breathing.
  3. Pick your battles by prioritizing high-risk or critical problems to resolve first
  4. Cultivate a growth mindset to perceive difficult life-situations as an opportunity to grow rather than seeing them as failures..
  5. Create a support system of right minded people. Seek guidance from experts when you need it.

In conclusion, stress can be our superpower, if we cultivate the right skills to transform it into a positive outcome. This superpower is not only enjoyable but it also has numerous benefits for your physical and mental wellbeing.

When life gives you stress, harness your Eustress!

The author is a qualified wellness expert and founding member at CortiqaHealth, a company dedicated to making healthcare accessible, affordable and easy-to-use.  


[1] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11874-stress

[2] https://dictionary.apa.org/distress