Stress is a constant companion in our life. Either in the form of “eustress” (“positive stress”) or “dystress” (“negative stress”). When we are stressed, our heartbeat begins to race, we are breathing faster and shallower and our muscles tense up. Stress is a reaction of our body and our psyche to a challenge or a threat.
A stressor means “stress causer”. The following list names some of them:
- Environmental influences (for example cold, heat or noise)
- Endogenous causes (for example hunger, thirst, injury, a disease)
- Mental triggers (for example time pressure, examinations, overtaxed or underchallenged, fear of failure)
- Social triggers (for example separations, loneliness, loss, conflicts)
Eustress and dystress
It is due to several aspects whether we talk about eustress or dystress.
- The reason causing stress.
- The personal coping capabilities.
- Duration and strength of stress exposure.
Eustress has a stimulating and motivating effect and is not perceived burdensome. Most of the time it occurs due to challenges or an increased performance and creativity. The activity causes enthusiasm and joy. Some examples: being in love, preparations for a wedding or the birth of a child.
With dystress on the other hand you can’t cope with the stress causer. This leads to an overstimulation of the body that leads to tension and increased release of adrenalin and noradrenalin. This may cause physical and mental symptoms.
Read more about the symptoms in “What is stress? #2”
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This post is also available in / Diesen Beitrag gibt es auch in: German