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2 Different Kinds of Stress Which Make-or-Break a Person

2 Different Kinds of Stress Which Make-or-Break a Person
    Photo credit: itsaboyd (CC BY-NC 2.0)

    When we speak of stress, oftentimes, we only think of all negative implications it brings us. However, stress is not all bad.  In fact, stress can also be good. We just have to be mindful of what kind and level of stress we are in.

    By definition from Merriam-Webster dictionary:

    Stress is a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part.  It’s a constraining force or influence.

    In simple terms, stress is a kind of pressure, force or influence that moves us to action, either physically, emotionally or mentally.

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    Stress is important because it brings meaning to our life. Life without any kind of stress will be lifeless and boring.  Stress can  make life worthwhile.

    One of the major causes of stress is work.  Imagine if we lived without working, with no challenge and pressure to attend to, or no project to accomplish. At first, we will like and enjoy it, but as days go by that we don’t do anything, eventually, we will feel like our life has no meaning and purpose.

    Our mind, body and life in general are designed to do some level of work or activity to give it meaning and purpose.

    The Two Different Kinds of Stress

    Generally, there are two kinds of stress:

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    1. Positive Stress
    2. Negative Stress

    Positive Stress

    Positive Stress, also referred to as Eustress, is often felt when we are confronted with demanding and challenging situation which we are capable of handling. Challenges and responsibility gives us a sense of thrill and excitement.

    An example of eustress is when we are working on new projects (like a promotion or business venture) or when we are entering a competition (like a sports tournament). It brings us a feeling of enthusiasm to win and succeed in the new challenge.

    Eustress is a healthy kind of stress because it motivates and inspires us in our daily life activity and work. As a result, it gives us positive feelings of fulfillment and enthusiasm.

    People who are experiencing positive stress contribute outstanding performance and output. They are the ones who enjoy what they do and they become successful in their endeavors.

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    Positive stress is a kind of stress that is essential in winning and succeeding in life. It’s a kind of stress that can make a person live a fulfilled and successful life.

    Negative Stress

    Negative stress is the “most popular” kind of stress. It’s a stress that causes negative implication such as anxiety, fatigue, depression, unhappiness and other illnesses.

    An example of physical negative stress is when we are working on many projects and responsibility beyond what we can do, or when we no longer have time to relax and even get enough sleep. On the other hand, a source of negative emotional stress is when we don’t have good relationships with the people around us.

    When we are met with negative stress, it often blocks our happiness and success and if it is prolonged, we can become emotionally, mentally and physically sick.

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    People who are experiencing negative stress are the one who always complain and feel miserable about life. They tend to become a victim instead of a victor. They have low self-esteem, are hard to relate and deal with, and have less accomplishments.  As such, they are often unfulfilled and unsuccessful.

    Negative stress is a kind of stress that can break a person’s potential success and fulfillment in life. It is one of the main killers of winning and success.

    Now that we know the two different kinds of stress, our responsibility is to be aware of the signs that shows which kind of stress dominates us and do something constructive to solve it.

    Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. ~ Hans Selye

    Remember to use positive stress as motivation to keep you moving and performing excellent work. At the same time, be mindful of the negative stress that may paralyze you. Know how to maintain an appropriate balance between the two.

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    Lou Macabasco

    Lou Macabasco aspires to spread positive motivation.

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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