Eustress: Positive Stress

Eustress: Positive Stress

Andrea Funes – December 13, 2015

Stress is the result of an evolution process, from the need to survive multiple dangers, and is an ally to respond quickly and effectively to a hostile environment. As well as inflammation, after a cut, is a physiological mechanism that helps us to respond successfully to the environment, but why is so frowned upon?


Stress and inflammation can be divided into two categories: acute and chronic. Taking as an example inflammation, an acute response is healthy because it helps our body to return to homeostasis, to recover from an imbalance, either by a cut, insect bite or throat infection. However, chronic inflammation means that the body has failed to restore its balance and requires to keep the production of certain substances in its attempt to recover. These accumulated substances in our body become toxic, leading to suffer diseases related to inflammation, from gastritis and colitis to arthritis and cancer.

Although it might seem contradictory that the same substances that inflamed us for a short time, have healed us, but maintained for a long period of time have become toxic and sickened us, it is not. The body is perfectly designed to recover itself quickly and efficiently, and not to stay sick for long periods.

This is exactly what happens with stress, it is not that stress is good or bad in itself. As acute inflammation helps us respond to the needs of the environment, so it does stress, this kind of stress might be called eustress (positive stress). On the contrary, when we keep it chronically, we force our bodies to secrete substances that become toxic and make us sick.

So next time you’re stressed, and you notice that it helps you to be more creative and productive, rejoice, is an acute response that helps you to give the results you need. If, however, you find yourself in a vicious cycle of stress, seek tools to change the pattern, staying there will not give you any positive results.

And remember… Eustress not only increases our vitality, health and energy but facilitates decision-making that will help you take the necessary actions to ensure the compliance of your initiatives.