Is it Good or Bad Stress? How to Know and What to Do

April is Stress Awareness Month to increase public awareness about the cause and cures for stress and how to pay attention to personal stress and learn stress management strategies.

Everyone today suffers from some types of stress; it is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. It helps you cope with potentially serious situations and creates the fight-or-flight response.

And there is such a thing as good stress. This is that surge of adrenaline when the pulse quickens, hormones surge, and you get a burst of energy. An example of this type of stress would be trying to finish a goal in a specific time frame or participating in a sporting event. This stress keeps us excited about life.

Acute stress comes from those sudden surprises that need an immediate response. This stress doesn’t take a toll on us if we can find ways to deal with the situation quickly. When a stressor is dealt with, we can return to our normal state and continue.

Courtesy of Luis Villasmil via

However, there is stress that can create many long-term negative effects. This is chronic stress — those repeated stressors that eventually take their toll. It affects sleep, mood, and productivity and can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Some physical warning signs may be headaches, muscle pain or tension, and digestive issues.

Other people have more emotional signs of stress, such as moodiness, anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation, irritability, sadness, or depression. It is crucial to see a mental health expert to help you with any severe emotional symptoms. They can provide you with resources and coping tools.

3 Ways to Help Manage Stress.

You have no doubt heard the buzzword, self-care. Self-care is simply the process of doing things for yourself that will improve physical and mental health. In other words, be good to yourself.

It is good to have tools to help you reduce some of the stress you may be experiencing.

Remember, you don’t have to do it alone when dealing with stress and anxiety.
Seek out a therapist or doctor if stress has become unmanageable, harmful, or unhealthy.

While there are many ways you can implement self-care, read these 3 posts that are just some ways to learn how to manage stress and give yourself a break:   

  1. Self-assess to see if other people are controlling your time
  2. Consider a hobby
  3. Spend time outside

You can also read: 5 Tips for Managing Stress and Practicing Self-Care, or Try one of these 8 activities when you feel brain drain.

What helps you when you are feeling stressed? Please share it in the comments!

5 responses to “Is it Good or Bad Stress? How to Know and What to Do”

  1. I didn’t know April is Stress Awarness Month but I will let my friends and family know because most everyone has stress at one time or another and your post can help others.

  2. I am more intentional this year with #3. I really enjoy stepping outside when I’m taking a break from the computer. Thanks for this informative article.

  3. When I’m stressed, I tell myself that this too shall pass. I walk away from my work when I need to and take breaks so that I don’t get upset and make more mistakes as a result. Above all else, i remind myself that this too shall pass.

  4. Good to see you again, Angie! I experience chronic stress and this post is a good reminder that in addition to medication, I can lessen depression, anxiety and high blood pressure by managing stress. nature is a good way to do that, but in my current living situation, that is a challenge – especially during the pollen seasons – so I will have to get creative.

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