Positive and negative stress is a constant influence on all of our lives. The trick is to maximize the positive and to minimize the negative . This course will give you a three-option method for addressing any stressful situation, as well as a toolbox of personal skills, including using routines, relaxation techniques, and a stress management log system.
To begin, let’s look at what stress is. We’ll also explore how stress can be positive and negative, and we’ll look at the Triple A approach that will form the basis of this course.
What is Stress?
The Random House Dictionary defines stress as, “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension,” and, “a situation, occurrence, or factor causing this.” The word “stress” actually comes from a Latin word meaning, “distress.”
Stress can be difficult to pin down because it is a very individual thing. For me, public speaking is very stressful – but it may be one of your great joys in life. Remember this during this course: since stress is different for everyone, your approach must be personalized, too. Typically, we interpret stress as a negative thing, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
What is Eustress?
“Eustress” means stress with a positive effect. It was coined by psychologist Richard Lazarus in 1974. How can stress be positive, you ask? Think of the emotional strain caused by these positive events:
- Winning a race
- Being a new parent
- Riding a rollercoaster
- Watching a scary movie
In these situations, the physical, mental, or emotional strain actually produces positive emotions, rather than the negative emotions usually associated with stress. Without distress or eustress, life would be a pretty boring ride!
- Identify the best approach to a stressful situation (Alter, Avoid, or Accept)
- Understand what lifestyle elements you can change to reduce stress
- Use routines to reduce stress
- Use environmental and physical relaxation techniques
- Better cope with major events
- Use a stress log to identify stressors and create a plan to reduce or eliminate them