Most people want to live life as stress-free as possible. We try to stay away from situations that we know will lead to frustration and anxiety. But did you know that stress can be negative or positive?
Stress that is characterized as negative is referred to as distress. Examples of common negative stressors are relationship problems, unemployment and injury. When something distresses you, it can lead to feelings of hopelessness about the situation. You begin thinking in “what-ifs” rather than working toward solving or coping with the problem.
On the other hand, there also exists stress that can be characterized as good, called eustress. Examples of common positive stressors are starting a new job, taking a vacation and learning a new hobby. When you feel eustress, you are motivated to perform well in the situation. You see the stressor as an opportunity and work to get the best result out of it.
While there are stressors that can be considered positive or negative across the board, there are several that can be either or even both. It simply depends on how you process it. “Our thoughts can be the factor that determines if something is a positive or a negative stressor. If our focus is on the negative, then we view the event as negative,” says Evelyn McGee, Therapist at Centerstone. “Stress is a person’s chance to solve problems that exist. It is made positive when the person comes to a solution that solves or helps them cope with the problem.”
It is important to acknowledge and think through your stressors to stay mentally healthy. The Stress Bucket is a visualization of stress that can help you process it better.
When looking at stress through this bucket analogy, think of these stress types as the spigots that fill your stress bucket.
These coping skills can be translated as the way you empty your stress bucket and become more or less at peace. Using helpful coping skills will help your process stress more positively.
If you are looking for extra help with managing stress, Centerstone is here for you. Call 1-887-HOPE123 (877-467-3123) to get connected with care.
If you are in crisis, please call our crisis line, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you're still having trouble and would like to reach out to someone about counseling or other Centerstone services, contact us.