Comparing Stress

Admit it. Life brings stress.

Are you ready for it? When stress comes knocking, how do you respond?

I started reading a book recently, The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. A lot of quality content for those looking for it, I guess.

He also writes about a more universal struggle, yet provides a refreshing perspective. He discusses and compares two types of stress, not just the negative side that we are so used to observing.

There are two separate types of stress, each as different as euphoria, and it’s seldom-mentioned opposite, dysphoria.

Distress refers to harmful stimuli that make you weaker, less confident, and less able. Destructive criticism, abusive bosses, and smashing your face on curb are examples of this. These are things we want to avoid.

Eustress, on the other hand, is a word most of you have probably never heard. Eu-, a Greek prefix for “healthy,” is used in the same sense in the word “euphoria.” Role models who push us to exceed our limits, physical training that removes our spare tires, and risks that expand our sphere of comfortable action are all examples of eustress–stress that is helpful and e stimulus for growth.

People who avoid all criticism fail. It’s destructive criticism we need to avoid, not criticism in all forms. Similarly, there is not progress without eustress, and the more eustress we can create or apply to our lives, the sooner we can actualize our dreams. The trick is telling the two apart.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated, location 679

Where have you allowed for eustress to take you to places unknown? We all know about the distress side of things.

Here’s a video of amazing people having amazing experiences as they dial in to eustress to make life a little more exciting!

Anything you need to put on your “eustress list?”

One comment

  1. Trevor Honeycutt · May 1, 2014

    Wow! That video alone was worth the price of admission!

    Regarding distress & eustress, I don’t necessary look at them as 2 totally seperate and distinct types of stress. But I wanted to add that I think our RESPONSE to the stressor helps to determine if the fruit of the stress is negative (distress) or positive (eustress).

    For example, when we reposnd by faith and process a potential distressor with Jesus, then He can turn a negative fearful reaction to the stressor to one of love, hope, and confidence in what He will do through the situation for good.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s