To most of us “stress” is a dirty word. But did you know there is good stress and bad stress?

Good stress or Eustress is defined as:  stress that is deemed healthful or giving one the feeling of fulfillment
And although it needs little definition, bad stress or Distress is:  great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble.

Let’s face it, just hearing the word stress induces a lot of distress. So how do you make the bad stress go away?

To Know it is to Fight It

There are a lot of things that can cause DISTRESS:

  • Disorder
  • Indecision
  • Sidestepping tasks at hand
  • Time Voids
  • Reactive vs. proactive behavior
  • External demands
  • Stacks and piles of clutter
  • Shifting priorities

Clutter and disorder can create stress if you’re not careful.

There’s nothing wrong with having things be a little messy, as long as you can tolerate it AND find what you need when you need it. No one expects you to be perfect, but you should have a system that assigns a space for the things in your life and makes it easy to regroup when you need to.

Careful consideration about next steps is wise, but taking too long over  a decision and delaying it creates stress. When you look at clutter, be it papers or the spare room that’s become a dumping ground consider this: industry expert Barbara Hemphill of Productive Environment Institute says “Clutter is postponed decisions.” Each item without a proper home is a decision that has been waiting for you.  How many decisions have you been putting off?

Getting a little Good Stress

To understand is to find solutions. Turn the negative into the positive with these tips:

  • Evaluate what is causing you to become stressful
  • Understand what you can do to avoid your stressors
  • Separate your commitments into what’s important for you
  • Treat yourself to quality time and take care of your mental and physical health
  • Redirect requests and delegate those things that drain you
  • Engage help from friends and colleagues when necessary
  • Stop procrastinating and putting of the things that will make life better
  • Say No every once in a while to unreasonable requests


Experts saying becoming aware of what stressors exist at home or at work is the first step to counteracting their negative effect. If there is particularly stressful influence in your life, chances are you’re not the only one feeling it. Ask around and see what support may be in place to help combat it. We often feel stressed when we think we don’t have control of our circumstance. Try pinpointing those areas that are within your power to change and work on those first.


One of the best ways to increase your good stress and decrease your bad stress is to exercise or incorporate some level of physical activity into your day. A 30 minute walk can do wonders to clear your head, increase “feel good endorphins” and release your nervous energy.

Become a Visionary

Use your imagination and visualize ways that you can turn your bad situation around. Visions of success and overcoming triumph can help you change the way you feel about your stressor.

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