Can stress help us? Eustress
What do you feel when you start a new job or go the first time to university? When you have to do an important task? When you are just about to go on holiday or a week before your wedding day? Emotions, often stress. But you can explain to yourself that stress is not always something negative; it is often motivating, giving the energy to act – this is so-called eustress. Sometimes we forget that some strong sensations of stress are not only sadness, nerves, bitterness. Because stress has two faces.
Stress is the body’s response to external stimuli. It occurs when the capabilities of an individual do not match the requirements of the environment – that is, a stressor.
Up to a point, increasing arousal can motivate us. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as a function in the shape of an inverted U. According to this function, too weak or too strong stimulation can adversely affect the level of performance of tasks. It depends on the difficulty level of the task (our assessment – in accordance with our competences; the same task is difficult for one person, and banal for another). When arousal (stress) motivates us, it is eustress (healthy stress). When it reduces our efficiency, it affects us exhaustively – then stress is called distress. Higher arousal is needed for the effective implementation of easy tasks. When tasks are more complex, low stress is optimal. Each of us has our own individual threshold at which eustress changes into distress. Some people, such as mountaineers, rally drivers, and surfers, have a very high threshold for optimal stimulation.
Stress at work
Managing stress is easier when professional activity gives us pleasure and we are happy to return to it. To deal with tension, it’s worth:
- Choose the right profession
Work can be a torment for us when we do it against our will. The joy of fulfilling the duties of a specific nature makes stress less severe and does not affect us destructively.
- Prepare to work diligently
We feel more confident and calm when we start to perform our duties equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skills. To reduce stress and uncertainty, let’s get ready for work.
- Detect sources of stress
To effectively fight the tension that accompanies us at work, let’s determine what situations, events, or people evoke negative emotions in us. With this knowledge, we can consciously confront problems and find a solution.
- Maintain good relations with colleagues
The level of stress that accompanies us in the workplace also depends on the atmosphere there. Let’s try to build positive relationships with colleagues. To this end, let us develop our communication skills. Let’s learn to express a sentence so as not to offend or depress the interlocutor.
- Keep order in the workplace
Mess on the desk makes it difficult to find documents that we need “for now”. It also evokes unpleasant aesthetic impressions that do not make us feel positive. It is worth maintaining order on your desk if you want to avoid unnecessary stress.
- Carry personal items
To make the workplace seem more friendly to us, we can set a flower pot on the desk or a frame with a photo of somebody dear to us. Familiar and liked objects evoke nice associations and let us forget about what annoys and overwhelms us at work.
- Focus on individual activities
Performing several tasks at the same time makes us stress because we can not fully concentrate and keep up with everything. It is worth focusing on individual actions. Thanks to this, we can gradually and accurately fulfill further obligations.
- Do sports
Physical effort, even a small one, makes our brain better oxygenated. Therefore, we become less susceptible to the negative effects of stress. It is worth going out for a short walk during a break.
- Make jokes and laugh
The tension also decreases when we laugh. A sense of humor is a beneficial feature, thanks to which we can effectively get rid of negative emotions or mitigate their impact.
Not all stress is bad for us and has a negative effect on the body. Everything depends on ourselves, on how we perceive reality and situations. Because eustress, although short-lived, stimulates action, gives energy. Let’s make the most of this mobilization, being careful not to get into negative stress.