Understanding and Dealing With Stress
Introduction > What Is Stress? > Signs of Stress > Dealing with Stress > Long Term Strategies > Resources
Good Stress Versus Bad Stress
So if stress can be so bad for you, how can there be "good" or "positive" stress?
If you are suffering from extreme stress or long-term stress, your body will eventually wear itself down. But sometimes, small amounts of stress can actually be good.
Understanding your stress level is important. If nothing in your life causes you any stress or excitement, you may become bored or may not be living up to your potential. If everything in your life, or large portions of your life, cause you stress, you may experience health or mental problems that will make your behavior worse.
Recognizing when you are stressed and managing your stress can greatly improve your life. Some short-term stress -- for example what you feel before an important job presentation, test, interview, or sporting event -- may give you the extra energy you need to perform at your best. But long-term stress -- for example constant worry over your job, school, or family -- may actually drain your energy and your ability to perform well.
You Are Not Alone: Common Facts About Stress
- Millions of Americans suffer from stress each year.
- In fact, 3 out of 4 people say they experience stress at least twice a month.
- Over half of those people say they suffer from 'high' levels of stress at least twice a month.
- Stress can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes, and make you more likely to catch less serious illnesses like colds. It can also contribute to alcoholism, obesity, drug addiction, cigarette use, depression, and other harmful behaviors.
- In the last 20 years, the number of people reporting that stress affects their work has gone up more than four times. (Whereas the number of people reporting that other illnesses affect their work have gone down.)
- One fourth of all the drugs prescribed in the United States go to the treatment of stress.
- FACT: There are simple steps you can take right now to help reduce your stress!
Next: Test: What Is Stress?