What is the Goal with Stress?

The goal of stress is to give your body the strength and energy needed to protect yourself. Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. When people feel stressed by something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood. These chemicals give people more energy and strength.

Is Stress a Bad Thing?

Stress has many advantages. For instance, stress can help you meet daily challenges and motivates you to reach your goals. In fact, stress can help you accomplish tasks more efficiently. It can even boost memory.

How we perceive stress can determine its ultimate effect on our health and our overall well-being. If we perceive stress to be negative, it can weaken our immune system and cause high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety and even heart disease.

Take a look at the information presented in this TED Talk by Dr. Kelly McGonigal from Stanford University. It may just change the way you look at stress forever!

What you focus on, grows.

Negative Stress

Recognizing Stress

Some of the common signs and symptoms of negatively perceived stress can be:

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Moodiness
  • Aches and pains
  • Increased sickness
  • Sleeping too much or too little

The saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” may also hold true for stress. How we look at stress can dramatically influence the impact stress has on our overall health and well-being.

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

— Mother Teresa

I do not view stress as either good or bad. Stress itself is neutral

“Think of it like a fire. When the fire is in the fireplace, it is beautiful and relaxing, and in the winter it keeps one warm. But if the fire gets out of control, it can burn down the house. The fire is neither good nor bad, it just exists. It is how the fire is contained or controlled that determines whether it is going to have a beneficial or harmful effect.

I view stress in the same way. Stress is unavoidable; it is how well we manage and respond to our stress that really determines if it is going to have an adverse or beneficial effect in our lives.”

— Dr. Tieraona Low Dog

Neutral Stress