We usually view stress negatively – although it is actually a negative experience. However, that doesn’t mean there is no good thing about it. Just like many other situations, stressful emotions come with a fair share of good and bad. Are you surprised about that? Since we often believed that feeling stressed is mostly unpleasant, therefore how can there be positive sides to stress? The answers will surprise you. Here is what you need to know about it.
1. It can boost short-term memory: Stress does several things to do the body and one of the vital things it does is prepare itself for any necessary defense. Such a response can be something positive most especially if you are in a situation that warrants a sudden boost. When stress boosts you temporarily; it increases mobilization of immune cells, body’s readiness for injuries or infections and temporarily increases interleukin production for a defensive boost.
2. It helps you lean: In most cases, positive thinking doesn’t always do the trick. Sometimes, it is very easy to pick up things during an emergency fight as discovered by a research study. Also, it is necessary to distinguish between positive and negative stress. Some of the things good stress does to help you lean better include; improvement of one’s decision making skills, improvement of performance, boosts focus and motivation, and increases excitement when learning something.
3. It makes you tougher: It is obvious that stress is never easy to handle and in most of our ideal words, we won’t ever have to deal with it. Meanwhile, research has shown that learning how to fight with stress properly is necessary. It implies that learning how to deal with stress healthily helps you better yourself. Some typical examples include; it teaches you about ways to manage stressful situations, it helps you learn how to develop healthy psychological and physical control, helps you develop resilience, and teaches positive thinking in the face of struggle.
4. It gives you a rush of adrenaline: The moment you experience any form of stress, your brain informs your body to produce all sorts of stress-related hormones and chemicals. One of such hormones is adrenaline. Adrenaline is a hormone that is effective in offering a boost in emergencies. Few instances where you might enjoy an adrenaline rush includes; extreme sports, public speaking or performing, and competitions.
5. It can improve cognitive ability: At first glance, this may seem counterintuitive. After all, there are several studies that revealed that stress has a negative effect on our brain’s performance. So, it is very possible that you have personally noticed that you seem to do better when you are under deadlines or stressed. It is certainly true in the long term, and studies have revealed in the short term, it can instead offer the temporary boost that we deserve. Some ways that stress boosts cognitive performance includes; improving short term memory, increases focus and attention span, and strengthens brain neurons.
6. It can offer motivation: Should you ever have the feeling that stress is the kicker you need to keep going, then this may seem familiar to you. It isn’t just your imagination, it is a statement of fact that stress can form a cognitive dissonance between our baseline values and our environment. Some few examples where stress can be a motivating factor; presentation deadlines, project projections, and upcoming examinations.
7. It can improve the development of a child: We all accept that stress is unhealthy, both to a parent and the unborn child. It happens that our brains and our minds intertwine in such a way that the negative state of one will inevitably harm the other. Therefore, this is the major reason why most parents usually wish to avoid stress during pregnancy. In truism, it is a good thing to avoid stress. However, a study by Johns Hopkins has proven that normal stress in moderate levels could be helpful for the development of the fetus. Some examples of how it helps the babies include; more advancement in early developmental skills, quicker neuron connectivity, and faster brain development.
8. It can promote competition: It is very essential to have healthy competition in a safe environment as it teaches us how to push ourselves to our limits, where our limits are, and how to effectively handle them. Few other things that competitive stress does to our body include; you receive an opportunity to see where we can accept help from others to cover where we lack, it teaches us how to address and grow from our failures and shortcomings, and it enables us to assess both strengths and weaknesses and how to manage or improve them.
9. It gives you the warnings you need: Stress is definitely not a normal state of being and in fact it is a vital part of your warning system. When stressed, your body prepares itself for an emergency situation. This could be anything from mundane events like dealing with a test, to life-threatening ones likes avoiding a potential car crash. For you to do this, the brain responds to stress by ordering the respective glands to flood the body with emergency chemicals and hormones. Here are some few things those chemicals and hormones help you do in a do-or-die condition; heighten your senses, increase the blood pressure and heart rate, sharpen your focus, and increase the sensitivity of your reactions.
Although stress has its benefits occasionally, you should always remember that it still must be managed correctly. When there is chronic or constant stress, it is always negative than positive therefore you should get a balance through proper handling of stress and symptoms of anxiety and tiredness.
In case you are experiencing severe levels of stress that interfere with your ability to do everyday tasks, consult your mental health professional for a way forward.
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