2. Not all stress is bad
Stress signals the body to prepare to face a threat or flee to safety. This can be life-saving in dangerous situations. When you’re stressed, you may feel physical sensations that are aimed at survival, like faster pulse or breathing or tense muscles, and your brain even uses more oxygen and increases activity. Even in situations that are not life-threatening, stress can serve as a motivator. Psychologists refer to positive stress as eustress. Eustress is the opposite of distress and can actually have benefits such as building our resilience, feeling excitement, and pushing ourselves, for example to complete a workout.
3. Long-term stress can harm your health
Chronic or long-term stress can have a debilitating effect because it doesn’t allow your body to return to normal functioning. While reactions to acute stress can be lifesaving, those same effects can, over time, disturb your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, sleep, and reproductive systems. Symptoms of chronic stress may include stomach problems, heart palpitations, headaches, sleeplessness, sadness, anger, or irritability. Over time, unresolved stress can contribute to more serious health problems, like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, including significant mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.