April 25, 2014

Yoga woman meditating and making a zen symbol with her hand
Breathing exercises and meditation can help transfer unhealthy stress into eustress.

As parents and caregivers, we understand that stress is a part of your life. But did you know there is a type of stress that can actually be good for you?

Healthy stress, or eustress, helps you excel during challenging or difficult times. You’ve probably experienced eustress when starting a new job, giving a speech in front of people you have never met or going on a first date.

Although your body stresses when you get nervous, it also celebrates with excitement and pride after you accomplish the stressful task.  This is the result of the brain releasing happy hormones called endorphins.

The good news is that it is possible to transfer unhealthy stress into eustress.

For eustress to occur, you can’t remain in a constant state of stress. Instead, you have to find opportunities to rest and relax during and after a stressful event.

To get started, our Amarillo nursing team shares the following tips you can use the next time you experience unhealthy stress:

  • Take short, frequent breaks:  It’s important to step away from the stressful task even if you don’t think you need a break yet.
  • Remember to breathe: There are many breathing techniques available to everyone.  Take the time to figure out which breathing technique is best for you, and start using it when you feel stressed.
  • Get moving: Exercise is a great way to help you burn off stressful  energy.
  • Accept distraction and humor: Sometimes the simple things are the best things. Distraction allows you to think about a different topic and humor allows you to laugh, which releases even more of those happy hormones.

For more information about eustress, visit Psychology Today’s website.