When good stress turns bad

I woke the other day to discover a dreaded cold sore emerging! An overt sign that I am stressed. But there's the thing, I didn’t feel stressed. I was excited. I was running on adrenaline. It was an energy that propelled me to action. I was working hard and loving every minute of it.

Interestingly my body and mind were not aligned – whilst I was enjoying the energy and innovation the tension created, my body was interpreting this as a negative form of stress.

So what is stress? 

Stress is a normal reaction to events that make you feel threatened or may upset your balance in some way. It works as an automatic response – when you sense danger your body’s defences are activated. This is known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction.

And why should you care? 

Recognising when your stressed and being able to manage your stress levels can greatly improve your life.

Some short-term stress, for example that nervous energy you feel before an important presentation, interview or exam, can give you the extra energy you need to perform at your best.

Long-term stress, for example constant worry over your job or family, will eventually drain your energy and immune system and impact on your ability to perform well.

This got me thinking, in a world where stress is everywhere, and to a point healthy for us, how much stress is too much? And how can we harness the positive parts of stress while alleviating the negative?

Click here to read about the harmful effects of stress and what you can do to safeguard against it in the article 10 ways to reduce stress.