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We usually see stress as a negative sensation on our bodies as work deadlines pile up, conflict with friends and family appear or when trying to accommodate to busy schedules. That kind of meaning to the word stress is what wears us down both mentally and physically, but according to research there are actually two different types of stress with different implications to it:
- Distress: This one refers to negative stress, such as having extreme anxiety that ends up with people having trouble sleeping, eating or concentrating. Long periods of distress due to biological or external events increases the likelihood of chronic disease.
- Eustress: On the other hand, eustress refers to a kind of “positive stress” which can have some positive effects such as protecting us from aging and disease. This beneficial stress drives us to complete our daily tasks and life goals, and has a direct effect with our life satisfaction and well-being.
In small doses, stress can help us give meaning to our lives and keep us active. This helps us build confidence and skills that are important for our careers and how we build our relationship with people. A life without stress isn’t necessarily better, and healthy competition in life makes us feel proud of ourselves and helps us grow as human beings.