Good Stress, Bad Stress

Stress is something we need to survive and something we live with. There is good and bad stress, obviously we want more good and less bad happening, along with stress we need rest also. I find it interesting that most of us would say, if surveyed, that a stress free life would equal happiness. But I think stress free would get boring quickly for most people. Instead, I think a better approach is finding a good ratio of good and bad stress with frequent rest periods.

If stress is here to stay then instead of eliminating stress we need to management it. We want more good stress and less bad stress and we want and need to rest and recover.

This got me thinking, what is the difference between good and bad stress?

Good stress challenges, motivates and drives us. Good stress is short-term, it’s the good aspects of fight or flight mode. Good stress enhances our feelings of control.

Bad stress is distressing, makes us feel out of control, and unmotivated. Bad stress can be short-term or long-term. Bad stress can impact our emotional, psychological, and physical health in negative ways.

So if stress is something we live with and is not going away a better way is to manage it. To this end I am pondering the stressors in my life and asking the following questions.

  • How do I increase my good stress?
  • How do I manage all my stressors?
  • What does rest look like for me?
  • How much rest do I need?


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