Stress: Propellant or Provocation?


Summer break is fast approaching, but with it comes the looming threat of final exams. Spirits are low and tempers are high for many students, whether they are facing comprehensive exams, term papers, or even just multiple choice tests for low level courses.

Stress tends to get a bad rap, especially in the college setting. It’s stress that makes you tired, makes you snap at your friends, and makes you perform badly on that quiz. There are several websites you can find with tips on how to reduce your stress by eating right, exercising, avoiding caffeine and getting enough sleep. Essential oils and diffusers are currently a trending stress reducer, offering relief with a calming vapor.

But is stress really the villain we make it out to be? If you think about it, it was stress that made you study for that test you aced, made you prepare for that presentation, and made you turn that assignment in on time. While it can go too far, having some stress in our lives isn’t actually a bad thing.

When we think of stress, we are generally thinking in terms of distress. Distress is the feeling of being overwhelmed, when you are unable to cope with situations. Eustress, on the other hand, is positive stress. Eustress means that you are being challenged to reach your fullest potential.

In the end, we all have to deal with stress, but how you react to it is often a choice. If you go into something with the mindset that something is too hard, then challenges become insurmountable obstacles. If, however, you allow stress to motivate you instead of drag you down, there’s no telling what you could achieve.

Source: https://brocku.ca/health-services/health-education/stress/eustress-distress