Is There Really Good and Bad Stress?

As students get further into the year, pits in their stomachs of anxiety, or relieving stress fill them.


Emily Howe

Juniors and seniors work diligently as they strive to edit, and finish articles for Mr.Allen's journalism class.

It’s seven a.m, you wake up and are hit with an immediate pit to the stomach. The anxiety kicks in and at first the feeling doesn’t make sense. Then a tingling sensation begins to peak, and the realization hits that you have a test first period, and you’re not prepared.

When asking someone what good stress is, the first reaction tends to be “What? There’s good stress? Since when?” says Senior Alexia Miller. Believe it or not, there is. The good stress, known as eustress, is a positive effect on the body. 

According to Healthline,Eustress:The Good Stress,” “Eustress is usually a product of nerves, which can be brought on when faced with a fun challenge. Dr. Michael Genovese says this is important because, without eustress, our well-being can suffer.” 

This kind of stress has been proven to keep us motivated, and keep us working hard towards the goals we want to achieve. Eustress improves our performance, and is recognized as an exciting feeling. 

Looking on the other side, and the positive parts of stress, there is a whole different kind of stress called distress. This kind of stress is known to cause anxiety, decreases your performance, and can even lead to mental and physical changes in your body. 

Referring back to the previous Healthline article, “Licensed professional counselor Casey Lee, MA, says this type of negative stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and a decrease in performance.”

Distress can take a toll on your body, physically and mentally. Most commonly, behaviours people take on when they’re distressed are low self esteem, low motivation, and unusual restlessness or agitation that normally isn’t there. 

Senior Mackenzie Hamilton explains her nervous habits, “When I become stressed, I nervous laugh a lot and isolate myself, but when the stress becomes too much I reach out to my friends, or talk to teachers so they can help me through.”

Alivia Black, says she herself has experienced good stress. “Before I compete in cheer, I get a sense of good stress before I compete. It keeps me motivated, and helps me to perform better, and makes me feel more confident about the performance.”

As college approaches, students start to feel even more stressed. “As I’m doing my Common Apps and applying to colleges, it gives me a nervous, anxious feeling. It’s scary. ” Hamilton explains. 

Seniors especially are now feeling the stress, and as college comes students say the pressure rises. The good and bad habits are beginning to show, but in the end there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

But as some students feel the pressure, senior Leane Freeman keeps her head held high and pushes through the stress, and other factors in life that try to push her back.  “My philosophy is that everything happens for a reason, and that everything will work out.”