Exaggerated painting of stressed out man holding his head

We've all been there; the final exam in the morning that could make or break your future, the endless "To-Do" list that never seems to get shorter, or maybe things just haven't been going so hot for you lately and you just want to SCREAM!

Welcome to stress.

Most of us know that there are two kinds of stress: good stress, and bad stress.

The Bad and The Ugly

There's your typical bad day everyone has had every once in a while, and then there's combatting stress for a week or more. Bad stress is what we're most familiar with in our hectic schedules and insanely busy lifestyles. We know it's not good for us, but what are the consequences if we don't learn to take a breath and calm down? In an article written by the Stress Management Society, here are just a few of the dangers a severely stressed out person could face:

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart disease risk

  • More prone to illness

  • Risk for stroke

Those are just the more common ones! A few other issues include memory loss and a tendency to be distracted and distant, along with major depression and frustration. It definitely makes your body not a very fun place to be, and it can take a toll on your family and friends, as they become concerned for your well-being. They may notice that you are making unhealthy choices such as sleeping all day or taking up bad habits such as smoking or increased alcohol consumption.

The Good! Stress Helps You Overcome Challenges

Good stress is actually here to help. A good example is often seen in our built-in instinct called "Fight or Flight". When you're in trouble, the body releases a burst of adrenaline in order to propel you towards (basically) saving your life by either turning to face your enemy or running away to safety. Good stress can provide you with the motivation you need in order to take on a challenge. You feel like you have a fairly good chance at success and you're motivated to take on this goal, whether it be:

  • Taking an exam

  • Project at work

  • Public speaking

  • Completing a goal

While good stress is still stress, it's a fairly small amount and it has more benefits than consequences when it comes to your health. In an article called "How Can You Tell the Difference Between Good Stress and Bad Stress," Kimberly Snyder explains that "brief bouts of stress have even been shown to enhance learning and brain function".

Healthy Ways to Keep Good and Bad Stress in Check

Do you know one of the best ways to keeping stress at bay? Exercise! It makes you feel great, all while improving brain function and keeping depression at bay.

Eating healthy is another key to preventing stress! Taking care of your body makes you feel good both inside and out because you're fortifying it with the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring either! It is always helpful looking up keto dinner ideas like taco stuffed avocados or curried rice cauliflower with shrimp! Best of all, they're super easy and can be made in 30 minutes or less! I call that a win-win.

The American Heart Association gives us a few more tips to lowering stress levels:

  • Talking with loved ones

  • Laughter is the best medicine

  • Cut out unhealthy habits

  • Get some rest

  • Organization

  • Helping others or volunteering

The last one may be a little obvious, but all the same, try not to worry too much about things that don't have to be taken care of right this minute. Instead of panicking that everything's a mess and nothing has gotten done today, take a breather and tell yourself that you can give it your best shot tomorrow. It's not the end of the world!

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About The Author

Jade Pulman's picture

Jade is a full-time mother of three children she adores. She graduated with her bachelors degree in Family Studies and Nutrition and works hard to implement her learning into her family life. When not writing, you can find her in the outdoors or exploring museums and aquariums with her loving husband and children. 

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