Get some good stress in your life

Get some good stress in your life

Posted 2014-05-24 by Colleen P Moynefollow
Image courtesy of Dominic

Just as we need to control the amount of bad stress in our lives, we should also try to increase the good stress, which is technically named eustress.

Good stress is that feeling of euphoria we get when something exciting happens to us. It has many of the same indicators as bad stress – like increasing your heart rate and your breathing, but the big difference is that while negative stress releases adrenalin over a longer period of time, good stress releases healthy hormones like endorphins and dopamine. They create a feeling of extreme well-being which can have many health benefits including boosting our immune system.

This is the same kind of therapeutic effect we get from deep meditation, sex or chocolate.

Good stress can also be triggered by events like a win at sports, a surprise party, or a lucky lotto ticket, but some people take it even further.

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We've all heard the term ‘adrenalin junkie’. These are people who participate in extreme activities like skydiving, base jumping, or motor racing because of the buzz they get from the risk involved. While we don’t all get the opportunity to enjoy such energetic pastimes, we can find lots of ways to bring some good stress into our lives.

There is conclusive evidence that simple boredom causes negative stress, so the solution is to break out of your routine and embrace new experiences.

Here are some ideas:

  • Own a dog. Dogs need daily exercise which is a great motivator to get out there and raise the heart rate.

  • Throw a party – you don’t need a particular reason and it doesn't have to be large or costly, but the planning and preparation will get the good hormones flowing.

  • Offer to assist a charity with their fundraising efforts. The enthusiasm is contagious!

  • Plan a trip or regular weekends away.

  • Engage in a competitive sport or group activity.

  • Go see a live band, comedian or stage production. There are many inexpensive amateur theatre productions that are brilliantly entertaining. Laughter really is a good medicine!

  • Sing karaoke or join a choir.

  • Spend time in nature.

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    Opening ourselves up to good experiences doesn’t have to cost a lot or require lots of energy, it just has to invoke good feelings in us and hopefully encourage us to become ‘good stress junkies’.

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