The way we perceive stress can vary greatly depending on the situation. While we often associate stress with negative emotions, there are plenty of positive sides to stress that we should not overlook. From pushing ourselves during a workout to taking on a challenging new project at work, stress can keep us engaged and motivated. Of course, whether stress is considered positive or negative ultimately comes down to the individual. For example, some may see a presentation as an exciting opportunity, while others feel overwhelmed by just the thought of it. This distinction between positive and negative stress is known as eustress and distress. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between the two types of stress and tell you how the Wim Hof Method can help boost your positive stress.
What is eustress?
Eustress, also known as positive stress, refers to stress that leads to a positive response. By consistently exposing yourself to these types of stressors, you build resistance to them. Examples include a challenging workout session, embarking on new adventures, and accepting new job opportunities. While intimidating and unfamiliar at first, such challenges provide opportunities for self-improvement. Eustress is undoubtedly a fundamental ingredient for success and growth.
What is distress?
Distress is a form of stress that your body is not yet able to deal with properly. It generates a much stronger response, requiring a longer recovery period. Unfortunately, experiencing some degree of distress is unavoidable and entirely normal. However, if this type of stress persists for too long, it can lead to many mental and physical conditions. Therefore, learning how to transform distress into eustress is critical.
Distress vs. eustress effects
Let us dive into the different effects of distress vs. eustress. These two terms define whether stress is working for or against you. And since we all react differently to various situations, what may be eustress for one person could be distress for another. The telltale signs of each type of stress can help you identify which one you are dealing with. For example, with distress, you might experience feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, constant worrying, headaches, or tightness in your chest. With eustress, you may notice increased levels of energy, improved concentration, and enhanced performance.
How the Wim Hof Method can increase positive stress
As you can see, stress does not always have to be negative. In fact, there are plenty of ways to turn distress into eustress. The Wim Hof Method is here to help you with just that. One of the three pillars of this method is cold therapy. By taking a cold shower or ice bath, you challenge your body. Although this stressor can feel quite uncomfortable at first, with regular practice, you will learn to stay calm under these circumstances and turn these forms of distress into positive stress - aka eustress.