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  • Carol Braverman

EuStress is Good Stress


Eustress is the opposite unwanted stress. Eustress is defined as good stress, the kind of stress that challenges us to reach beyond what we thought we were capable of.

We think of stress as a negative, and for sure our body’s reaction to most stress is a state of distress. But if something’s a negative might it have a positive aspect?

Stress is a common biological response and clearly abounds in the 21st Century and shows no signs of slowing down.

Common symptoms of stress are irritability, muscle tension, an inability to concentrate, headaches, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and decreased immunity.

Sustained stress can manifest in many disease conditions, and while the term connotes a psychological or emotional response to an event, stress can be purely physiological, as in the case of traumatic or sports injury.

For an example of eu-stress, consider what happened in the first Biosphere created in Arizona: the trees and vegetation in the biosphere grew to fruition but then everything died, due to imbalance in the environment. The take-away was that it is the challenges of wind, fluctuating rainfall, and shifting soil conditions that stimulates the growth that is necessary to thrive.

The theory behind acupuncture is very much concerned with eustress. At its core is the notion that each of us possesses the raw material for a long and healthy life and we can maximize this potential by making good choices throughout our lives. Diet, exercise, lifestyle habits, even our thoughts and the people we surround ourselves with are all factors that promote health and personal development.

We can learn from this example. Yes, life certainly has its bumps and leaves us bruised, but science has demonstrated in human trials that with eu-stress we become stronger – even strengthening the telemeres in our DNA. Eustress empowers us in so many positive ways that we can sometimes say that stress can be a good experience.


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