Stress. Is It Good or Bad?


I know what you are probably thinking right now, "how could stress possibly be a good thing?". Well, surprisingly, it can be both. Stress is not always bad, but this is how we usually view it. Actually, we need the right amount of stress in order to reach our full potential. Believe it or not, the same activities that you have found to help relieve too much stress can be the ones that cause your stress the next day. Something that might help our understanding of this would be knowing what stress actually is.

Stress can have many meanings, but for our purposes of knowing it's role in our fitness and health, stress is a specific response by the body to a stimulus, such as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism. Wait, what? In other words, stress is simply your body's response to something that is out of the norm.

So, what does this mean for you? Everyone knows no one person is the same, and when it comes to stress, individuals can naturally have either higher or lower stress levels. Knowing which you have is the beginning to helping yourself reach you full potential for any task or activity. Though you may be more one or the other, something that CAN be altered is everyones attitude and the ways that they handle situations.

Ready to start experiencing stress in a different way? Here are some easy steps to finding that stress target and reaching your full potential:

  1. Set goals using SPAM

  • Specific - don't be general, know what your specific goal is so you can know how to better reach it

  • Practical/applicable - make a goal that makes sense for you and your life

  • Attainable - challenge yourself and set the bar high, but don’t put it out of reach

  • Measurable - make a goal that you can measure easily at the end

2. Start simple

  • Start with only one step a day and make it a habit over the next couple of weeks.

3. Keep track of your progress

  • doing this will help measuring your goal that much easier because then you will have already done most of the work! Also, analyze your behaviors and the outcomes of those while trying to reach your goal.

4. Find someone further along than you

  • A friend once told me, “you only have to be one step ahead of the person you are leading”. The opposite is also true, and it is crucial to have someone more experienced than you in the area you are wanting to grow in to help guide you.

Remember, just working out won’t always help relieve your stress. Change things up and try different types of exercises and workouts. If you’re feeling more stressed than normal, do less intense exercises/workouts, and when you’re feeling less stressed than normal, do the opposite! Try this out and don't let stress be something to be feared any longer.