Is stress good for you?

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as good stress as opposed to distress. It is called eustress.

It is said that stress is an evolving scientific phenomenon.

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as good stress as opposed to distress. It is called eustress.

The term was coined by the man they call the Father of Stress, Canadian-Hungarian endocrinologist Hans Selye who, in the late ‘70s, wrote the book Stress Without Distress.

So, why eustress? In Greek, “eu” means “good.” In short, good stress is a welcome situation. It is the positive side of stress.  Let’s see how and why.

Conditions for eustress:

  • Challenging yet under your control
  • Manageable situations
  • Stimulates but does not dissipate you
  • Excites you
  • Enhances your performance


  1. Doing something that is out-of-the-box: 
  • Finally, you decide to go parasailing even if you have a fear of heights.
  • Learn how to bake and eat it, too (because you failed baking 101).
  • Cooking a meal (because you would rather order takeout).
  1. Puts you outside of your comfort zone: 
  • You are asked to sing before an audience even if you are naturally shy.
  • Dance the night away (despite having two left feet).
  1. Non-avoidance of a challenge: 

This example is so real. As a young adult, you go on your first date. Better yet, at 65 you decide to start dating again, maybe even fall in love or get married.

  1. Removing your safety net: 

Facing the things you thought you would never do, like join a marathon, wear a red bikini (because you hate red), talk to a stranger, speak up in a convention during the Q&A (because you could never muster the courage to do so in the past). Jump from a diving board, drive a motorbike, go roller-blading. And the list goes on. All you have to do is ask yourself, “What did I not want to do in the past?”

Going with the flow

If you have found your bliss, then you must have been in situations where you were totally immersed in an activity or pursuit. The sense of fulfillment you feel is what eustress is all about.


You are in the so-called zone when everything just seems to be in harmony with your passion. The emotion you find yourself in is what eustress gives you — pure satisfaction over a job well done. In short, you are thoroughly pleased with yourself.

The result? You look for more. And you seek it because it contributes to your victory over your own self-imposed limitations.

There are no limits if you allow eustress to enter your life. Face it. Embrace it. And then, surprise yourself.

Affirmation: “I can be more.”

Love and light.

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