Stress: the good and the ugly!

Stress: the good and the ugly!

We are all exposed to stress on a daily basis, and it always affects us, whether positively or negatively, even if we don't show it to those around us. Understanding both the good and the ugly of stress is crucial.

Cortisol is the stress hormone, and it can impact us positively or negatively in so many different ways:

Good Cortisol (Eustress): This is often referred to as "eustress," which is a type of stress that has a positive effect on us. Good cortisol helps us respond to challenges and motivates us to take action. It's released during activities like exercise, excitement, and achieving goals. Eustress is essential for growth, adaptation, and optimal functioning.

Bad Cortisol (Distress): This is often referred to as "distress," which is the type of stress that has a negative effect on us. Distress occurs when we experience prolonged or excessive stress without relief. It's associated with negative emotions, anxiety, and health problems such as high blood pressure, immune system suppression, and weight gain.

Because distress can have such a detrimental effect on our lives, it's essential to be able to identify our stress levels and work through them mindfully. Here are a few ways to do that:

  1. Physical Symptoms:
    Pay attention to physical signs of stress such as headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, and changes in appetite or sleep patterns.

  2. Emotional Changes:
    Notice any changes in your mood, such as increased irritability, anxiety, or feeling overwhelmed.

  3. Behavioral Patterns:
    Be aware of any changes in behavior, such as social withdrawal, increased substance use, or difficulty concentrating.

  4. Stress Triggers:
    Identify specific situations or events that trigger stress for you, whether it's work deadlines, family issues, or financial concerns.

  5. Mindfulness Practices:
    Engage in mindfulness activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to help manage stress and stay grounded.

  6. Healthy Habits:
    Prioritize self-care activities such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep to help reduce stress levels.

  7. Seek Support:
    Don't hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional for support and guidance in managing stress.

By being proactive and mindful about managing stress, you can learn more about yourself and develop effective strategies to navigate life's challenges.

Back to blog

Leave a comment