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The Positive Impact Of Stress

Have you ever considered that there is good stress as well as bad stress? Negative

feelings actually do have a positive job to do. And stress is no exception. April is Stress Awareness Month, and it just seems timely to look at the positive elements of stress. You’ve probably been thinking that stress is bad for you and before I go any further, if the stress you are experiencing is excessive and constant, then it certainly isn’t good for you. In this article form Becoming Aware, I look at how you can recognise the positive elements, things that are positive stressors and the health benefits of looking at things more positively.

Recognise the positive elements of stress

There is a positive element to stress. Not all stress responses are bad. And if you look positively at stress, there are important benefits. It can actually kick start you, giving you energy and activating you to deal with issues so that you remain safe, and problems can be solved. Positive stress can also be about things that you are excited about. How you feel makes a difference to how much impact stress can have on you. If you recognise the positive elements, you will have a healthier and easier response than people who only see the bad or negative parts of stress.

Pay attention to positive cues rather than threatening cues

According to the University of California, the stress response is designed to help us react when something potentially threatening happens, to help us deal with it and learn from it. Their research has shown that moderate, short-lived stress can improve alertness and performance and boost memory. According to stress expert Elissa Epel, if you focus on the benefits of stress, you will feel less stressed about stress. With a positive attitude towards stress, it will help you to pay attention to positive cues rather than threatening cues. This will result in you being able to approach situations more confidently rather than avoiding or being afraid of them.

Positive stressors

· Getting married

· New job or promotion

· Having a baby

· Taking a holiday

· Moving house

· New relationship

Health benefits of looking positively at stress

Research is continually being carried out on the benefits of positive thinking, which ultimately could lead to a longer life.

· Improved brain performance

· Better psychological and physical wellbeing

· Improved memory

· More focus

· Increased learning capacity

· Greater resilience to illness

Healthy ways to cope with stress

Turning negative stress into positive stress does require thinking and behaving in a more positive and optimistic way. It’s important to identify the areas that can lead to stress such as travelling to and from work, your relationship with a partner or your job.

· Take care of your body by eating healthily

· Exercise regularly

· Avoid excessive caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and drugs

· Take regular breaks when working

· Work smarter, not harder

· Get plenty of sleep

· Connect with friends, family and colleagues

· Take some ‘me’ time

· Help others by doing some community work or volunteering

· Accept that some things cannot be changed

· Recognise when you need more help

· Contact a therapist or get professional help

How can Becoming Aware help you to see the positive impact of stress?

In conclusion, if you are feeling stressed, you will need to reframe how you are looking at it. Start by assessing whether the stress is about something that will bring you joy and excitement such as going on holiday or moving house or whether something is an actual threat or risk to your safety and if the latter, you must respond accordingly. If you feel you need professional help, please contact me, Karen on 07766 427966 for a free without obligation chat or email

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