Stress is a part of life, but it's not always the same.
In this blog, I will introduce the different aspects of stress and its effects on mental health. Please remember that people can experience stress differently, especially if they have a history of trauma. With better clarity, clients can see the impact of stress in their lives and make needed changes.
Good Stress: Eustress
As a therapist, I understand the impact stress can have on a client's mental health. Stress is the body's natural response to a demand or challenge. It is not inherently bad or harmful. It can energize us, helping us perform at our best and reach our goals. People often refer to this form of "good" stress as eustress. It can push us to step out of our comfort zones, take on new opportunities, and achieve personal growth. Eustress is manageable and can even benefit mental health. For example, in therapy, I often work with clients on building mastery through short-term and long-term goals. And this helps regulate a client's emotions. Clients feel a sense of happiness and pride when they can work on goals that go along with their values.
Bad Stress: Distress
Distress is the form of stress that affects our ability to cope effectively. It leaves us feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and emotionally depleted. Distress can start in demanding work or home environments, relationship conflicts, or societal pressures. If these sources are toxic or last too long, they become unmanageable. Distress also hurts our physical health. It can cause headaches, insomnia, and decreased immune function.
The impact of good and bad stress on mental health
- Eustress and distress make us feel differently.
- Eustress is typically short-term, providing a sense of excitement and anticipation. Distress tends to linger over an extended period causing significant emotional and physical strain.
- People view eustress as a positive challenge. We often see it as an opportunity for growth and a way of achieving goals. In contrast, we see distress as negative. It makes it difficult to concentrate, make decisions, or perform tasks.
- Eustress is manageable. People feel a sense of control and confidence in handling the situation. But, distress surpasses one's coping mechanisms, leaving them feeling helpless, anxious, and depleted
How Therapy Can Help
It's important to note that the experience can vary from person to person. People's perspectives and circumstances often influence their perception of stressors. So, it's essential to consider each person's experience when assessing stressors.
In therapy, clients learn self-awareness and mood tracking. In treatment, they can recognize their unique responses and patterns. By fostering this awareness, they better notice when stress is tipping into distress. As a result, people can take action before it becomes detrimental to their mental health.
Begin Therapy for Stress in Illinois
If you want to learn more about stress, the next blog will introduce the impact of trauma on good and bad stress. Trauma can make even good stress feel distressing. But if you are already distressed and want support, call or text for a free therapy consultation today. As a therapist, would be happy to offer support from my Mahomet, IL-based practice. Start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:
- Take the first step by calling or texting 217-402-7817
- Schedule your first appointment at my Illinois-based practice to address overworking
- Start coping with healthy and unhealthy stress
Other Services Offered with Live Lekko
Therapy for stress isn't the only mental health service I offer. I offer a variety of services to provide you with mental health support. Other services include counseling for women and grief and loss counseling. I also offer counseling for people-pleasing and therapy for childhood emotional neglect. Whether you are in Peoria, Springfield, Mahomet, or somewhere in between in Illinois I can help with teletherapy. Feel free to visit my blog for more helpful information.