Stress, Distress, and Eustress.
When it comes to looking after our general health and overall well-being, both physically and mentally, unfortunately many of us are simply not taking enough care of ourselves and are suffering greatly as a result. Stress for example, can greatly damage our health and mental health and can even be debilitating in some instances. We know all too well just how stressful day to day life can be, which is why we'll be taking a deeper in look into stress, as well as distress, and eustress as well. We'll be taking a look at the differences between each one, as well as how each one can impact our lives, our health and fitness, and even our overall decision making as well.
So, what are the differences between stress, distress, and eustress? - We all know what stress is, or at least we know how stress can make us feel, but when we actually delve a little deeper, there is much more to discover about this awful condition, including some of the different variations.
Stress - Stress is actually a response from our bodies whenever a perceived or real threat makes itself present. This is sometimes known as the fight or flight process and it kicks in whenever we feel threatened or under pressure. Stress responses occur when our bodies secrete hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin. This in turn leads to a physical and mental stimulus causing us to feel the way we feel.
Distress - Distress, or psychological distress, is actually a term used to help describe deeply unpleasant feelings and/or emotions that are so severe that they actually impact your regular levels of everyday function, which we'll be looking at in more detail shortly. Distress can often lead to severe depression and can skew your view of the world and others around you, causing you to view them in a negative fashion. Anxiety, sadness, depression, and distraction can all be manifestations of distress.
Eustress - Eustress is actually very unique because it can be described as 'good stress' that can help to energise you, sometimes hyperactively so, providing a deeper incentive to get certain jobs and tasks completed. You can enjoy eustress and find that it helps you to function and become more productive as a result.
Impacts on health - Not only can distress affect you mentally, it can also affect you physically as well, and in actual fact, if stress is not channelled productively it can be extremely harmful for our overall health and well-being. Here are some of the more common impacts that stress has on our health.
Memory problems Trouble concentrating Anxiety Depression Constant worry Mood swings Trouble sleeping Feelings of isolation Feelings of despair Over or under eating Binge drinking Nervous habits Chest pain Increased blood pressure Vertigo Nausea Dizziness Stomach ulcers Hair loss (alopecia) Suppressed immune function Increase in spots Loss of libido
Stress and decision making - Stress can also deeply affect your overall decision making for a variety of reasons, making it extremely difficult to function on a day to day basis. For example: distress can cause lapses in concentration, or can make it near impossible to focus and concentrate. This can make it difficult to think clearly and rationally, causing us to make rash and extreme decisions without thinking about possible consequences or repercussions. Eustress can also affect our decision making abilities because it can make us increase the intensity of focus meaning that we get hyper aware and take on challenges. It can also make us so determined not to fail that we may increase productivity.