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stress
health and safety executive
type of stress
chemical imbalance
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overdrive
Managing Good And Bad Stress
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Managing Good And Bad Stress

It seems there are many weeks these days when there isn’t some report about stress, whether that be people worry about their jobs, their financial situation, childcare costs, the closing of vital local facilities and so on. But what we don’t tend to hear about, is that there is good and bad stress.

Clearly stress is a major issue in the UK. Government figures published in September 2011 from the Health and Safety Executive indicate that 22.1 million days were lost during the year 2010/2011 due to ‘work related illness’ of which 10.8 million were due to ‘stress, depression or anxiety’. What these figures also indicate is that many people are failing to manage their stress allowing it to develop into something more serious.

So what is the difference between good and bad stress?

The good stress or ‘challenge stress’ as it is coined is the stress that allows us to achieve even under pressure. Whether your attending a job interview, giving a presentation, doing your driving test ... it is the adrenaline that drives you on and helps you to focus. Once the action is completed this type of stress dissipates

The bad stress or ‘threat stress’ is when you are worried, or scared, suffering from anxiety and consequently hormones are secreted in your brain which sends your system into overdrive including the heart. If you’re not able to let go of these feelings when an action is completed then it is a threat to your physical and psychological well-being, hence the name.

But why is that some people are able to handle stress better than others?

Well according to recent research from 2 American scientists some people have a chemical imbalance in their brain which causes their stress to become ingrained. So where some people are able to use stress in a positive way, or they are able to get over it, for others it is something that can blight their life as they are unable to let go.

So what can be done about bad stress?

  • Learn to recognise the difference between good and bad stress.
  • Recognise trigger points for your stress.
  • Have a variety of stress busting strategies to use.
  • Banish negative self-talk.
  • Understand when you need to switch off.
  • Avoid using crutches to mask the stress rather than dealing with it.
  • Be creative about how you can turn bad stress into good stress.

Summary

Good and bad stress is a normal part of our lives and the trick is how you handle it. Without the good (or challenge) stress you will not achieve the success in life that you want. It’s healthy and it and it helps us. The bad (or threat) stress is not so positive. However, even if you are one of those people who find that their lives are often blighted by fear and anxiety, it’s important that you recognise that even if your brain feels hardwired to react in a negative way, there are things that you can actively do to relieve your symptoms and cope with your stress.


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Thanks for sharing your ideas on stress and managing stress, good and bad.

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  about 4 years ago
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