Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Dr. Shoshana Bennett
Shoshana Bennett Ph.D.
Stress

Stress is Good

We’ve been taught that stress is bad and we need to combat it like an enemy.

In our culture, we've been taught that stress is bad and we need to combat it like an enemy. We hear about all kinds of ways to "decrease our stress" as if it's something to fear. Personally, I never wish for less stress. I aim for a greater capacity to handle stress.

Stress is the body's way of responding to any challenge or stimulation. So, what would "no stress" look like? Sitting on the couch doing nothing? I can't imagine (nor would I ever want) a life like that. Every time we go to a wonderful party, are invited on a great vacation, dance, have a lively conversation, or play at our passions our body has stress. There are chemicals released that give us more energy and that's a good thing. Our bodies cannot tell the difference between these fun events and other times that we aren't enjoying.

When I'm asked to appear on national TV does my stress increase? You bet it does. When we're excited, there's stress. But, would I turn down a wonderful chance to work my passion just because it was stressful? Definitely not. I just make myself even more conscious of taking care of myself and relaxing.

We get into trouble when we haven't learned how to manage the stress reactions. Then it can get the better of us - sometimes it even has a hard time shutting off and all kinds of mental and physical health problems can arise. Remember, stress can build up if we think negatively about ourselves or our lives. As a psychologist I frequently point out to my clients how they're causing themselves constant stress so they can change the way they're thinking.

As you live to the fullest (and therefore have stress), remember to breathe slowly and deeply, give and receive plenty of hugs, laugh often, get sunshine, and whatever else helps you relax.

Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D.
http://DrShosh.com

advertisement
About the Author
Dr. Shoshana Bennett

Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist focusing on moods, pregnancy, and postpartum depression.

More from Shoshana Bennett Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today
More from Shoshana Bennett Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today