Is there really such a thing as good stress?

Good stress? How can stress be good?

Isn't stress always bad?

The answer is, NO! In fact, stress is a good thing.

Good stress gives you energy.

Stress is all the processes that happen in your body when you have a challenge that must be met or a task that must be completed. Thus, stress is your body's way of generating and channeling the energy you need to meet the challenge or complete the task.

Good stress helps you perform better.

When does the basketball team play better, in the middle of the game when they are 20 points ahead or in the last two seconds of the game when they are 3 points behind?

Of course, the answer is in the last two seconds if they have the experience and training needed to handle the pressure.

When does the defensive line of the football team perform the best, in the middle of the field or in the red zone?

Again the answer is in the red zone if they have developed the needed skills. Have you ever noticed how the offensive line can move the ball down the field rapidly but when they get to the red zone, they can't move it another inch. The stress of the situation is making the defensive line of the opposing team perform better.

Certainly, having well developed skills and good coaching is necessary but given that, the pressure or stress of the situation will enhance performance.

You enjoy good stress.

Stress is fun when it's good. You enjoy it, so much so that you are willing to pay money to experience it.

Have you ever paid to ride an amusement park ride like a roller coaster? What happened to your heart when the car you were riding in dove rapidly down that first hill and then went around several twists and turns at a high rate of speed? Didn't it start racing? And you felt thrill, excitement, and a little fear all at once.

You were experiencing stress.

If you like roller-coasters, here is an interesting video. Just for the record, I don't like roller-coasters:-(

What about when you went to the movie theater to see that thriller? The young girl was in a house and thought she was by herself but you could see a man sneaking up behind her with a knife in his hand.

Your heart was pounding and you were on the edge of your seat, as if ready to spring into action.

Again, you were experiencing stress. But it was stress that was good.

It was just enough to give you energy and make you feel excited; not enough to make you feel overwhelmed.

You did pay for the ticket to get into the movie theater, didn't you? You were paying to experience stress.

Problems begin to develop when the stress goes on for too long or when the stress is poorly managed. Then the stress will keep you from performing well. It will make you feel badly. It will eventually make you sick. At that point the stress is no longer good; it is bad stress.

In summary, that is what stress does for you - not to you but for you...

  • it gives you energy
  • it channels the energy to where your body needs it the most
  • it helps you perform better
  • it makes you feel good.

If you need guidance in keeping the stress in your life in the good range, click here to check out how stress relief coaching can help. Coaching can help you develop the skills needed to handle the pressures of life like a well trained basketball or football team.

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