CBD Benefits

Good Stress vs. Bad Stress: Why Some Stress May Actually Be Good for You

Good Stress vs. Bad Stress: Why Some Stress May Actually Be Good for You - NextEvo Naturals

Most people assume that stress is inherently detrimental. However, this perspective overlooks the nuances and potential benefits of stress. Indeed, certain types of short-term stress can not only motivate you but also enhance your overall performance. 


In This Article

What is stress exactly?
Good Stress vs. Bad Stress
Why You Need Some Good Stress in Your Life
Why Chronic Stress Is Harmful
The Detrimental Consequences of Persistent Bad Stress
Transforming Bad Stress into Beneficial Stress
Managing Your Response to Stress
How CBD Can Play a Role
NextEvo Recommends

This phenomenon was discussed in a study published in the journal, Immunologic Research, which highlighted that "while long-term stress can be harmful, short-term stress can be protective." This protective aspect helps us adapt to challenges and overcome hurdles.

Yet, it's crucial to strike a balance. Prolonged exposure to stress can have adverse effects on both our physical and, more critically, our mental well-being. For this reason, it's imperative to recognize and differentiate between the good and bad stressors in our lives. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be better equipped to manage stress effectively, ensuring it doesn't overpower you.

By the end of this article, we aim to provide you with insights into the different facets of stress. Moreover, we'll offer specific strategies and tips to navigate the daily stressors you might encounter, making sure you harness stress's positive aspects and mitigate its potential downsides.


What is stress exactly?

Stress is often understood as the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. According to a study in the Annual Review of Public Health, the term “stress” encapsulates your response to your environment and your capacity to handle the demands it imposes.

In a physiological sense, stress triggers the body to secrete specific hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can lead to noticeable effects, such as a racing heart, rapid breathing, sweaty hands, and that familiar feeling of butterflies in your stomach.

Essentially, stress is the energetic response you have to environmental stimuli, guiding you on the necessary action to take.


Good Stress vs. Bad Stress

When it comes to stress, not all forms are created equal. Mental health professionals distinguish between two primary types of stress: eustress and distress. 

Eustress, often termed as 'good stress,' usually brings about a positive effect on one's mindset and overall wellbeing. It instills a sense of motivation and can drive individuals to embrace change or tackle challenges.

This uplifting form of stress can leave individuals feeling energized, fostering resilience against adversity, illness, or any demanding situations they might encounter.

Conversely, distress is the form of stress that most of us commonly recognize. It's the overwhelming, anxiety-laden variant that can cripple one's spirit and concentration. Distress can lead to feelings of debilitation, making it difficult to focus, complete tasks, or confront challenges head-on.

It's important to differentiate between these two forms since, while chronic distress can be detrimental to our mental and physical health, eustress can be beneficial, pushing us toward growth and positive change.


Good Stress vs Bad Stress 


Examples of Good Stress

  • Going on a First Date: The anticipation and excitement of meeting someone new can raise our adrenaline levels, but it's this very surge that makes the experience memorable and thrilling.
  • Approaching a Deadline: As the clock ticks down, the heightened pressure can boost our efficiency and creativity, pushing us to deliver our best work under constraints.
  • Starting a New Job: The blend of nerves and enthusiasm when stepping into a new role can propel us to learn quickly and make a strong first impression.
  • Anticipating an Upcoming Test or Exam: The pressure of an impending test can sharpen our focus and drive us to prepare thoroughly, ensuring we perform at our peak.
  • Marriage: While the thought of lifelong commitment can be daunting, the joy, excitement, and anticipation of starting a new chapter with a loved one is a profound form of positive stress.
  • Preparing for an Important Speech: The nervousness that precedes public speaking can heighten our senses and make our delivery more passionate and genuine.
  • The Birth of a Child: While it's undeniably a life-changing event filled with responsibility, the joy and anticipation of welcoming a new member into the family are incomparable.
  • Buying a New House: The process can be filled with anxiety and anticipation. However, the thrill of owning a new place and the possibilities it offers is an exhilarating form of stress.

Good stress, when channeled correctly, can be a catalyst for growth, transformation, and memorable experiences. It's all about perspective and how we choose to approach and interpret the challenges ahead.

 Good Stress



Why You Need Some Good Stress in Your Life

While stress has often been painted in a negative light, it's essential to understand that not all stress is harmful. Acute, or short-term stress, can provide several benefits, both cognitively and physiologically.

Cognitive Benefits: A notable perk of acute stress is its positive impact on memory. Research suggests that experiencing short-term stress can enhance your recall abilities, which proves invaluable in situations like taking exams or remembering important details.

Better Resilience: Facing stressful situations can act as a mirror, reflecting your strengths, skills, and limitations. As you navigate these challenges and come to understand your capabilities better, you build resilience. This ensures that when similar situations arise in the future, you'll be better equipped to handle them.

Stronger Immunity: While it's widely accepted that chronic stress can weaken your immune system, there's compelling evidence that short-term stress can have the opposite effect. As highlighted in a study from the European Journal of Pharmacology, acute stress can bolster the immune response.


Increased Alertness and Motivation: Acute stress can be a driving force, especially when it stems from excitement or anticipation. This type of stress can elevate your alertness levels, making you more focused and driven. Whether it's working towards a goal or facing a new challenge, this heightened state of awareness can significantly boost your motivation.

Why Chronic Stress Is Harmful

Stress, while sometimes beneficial in short spurts, becomes a major concern when it persists over extended periods. This chronic stress can lead to a variety of maladaptive behaviors, such as overeating or increased alcohol consumption, often driven by elevated cortisol levels seeking relief.

Thrill-seekers or those who frequently seek out eustress (good stress) are intimately familiar with the thin line between beneficial and harmful stress. Even what's considered "good" stress can quickly turn detrimental when compounded with chronic stress or multiple stressors. This combination results in a cumulative effect on one's well-being.

For this reason, it's crucial to maintain self-awareness. Recognizing when you're nearing or have crossed your stress threshold is essential. While it might be unrealistic to expect a life devoid of stress, most of us can pinpoint, minimize, or even eliminate certain stressors. By doing so, we create a buffer, making it easier to cope with the inevitable challenges life presents.

 CBD For Stress

Examples of Bad Stress

  • Struggling with or ending a significant friendship or romantic relationship
  • Mourning the death of a close individual
  • Experiencing abuse or neglect
  • Juggling a demanding job with constant pressures
  • Ignoring underlying mental or physical health concerns
  • Going through a divorce and/or custody battle
  • Grappling with financial instabilities
  • Facing severe illnesses or extended hospital stays
  • Obsessively chasing wealth to the detriment of well-being


The Detrimental Consequences of Persistent Bad Stress

Continuous exposure to distress, if not addressed promptly, can give rise to a myriad of health complications. The constant barrage of the body's fight-or-flight response without adequate recovery intervals can be exhaustive. Such prolonged distress can lead to: 

  • Difficulty in recollecting memories
  • Unintended weight fluctuations
  • Constant irritability
  • Concentration challenges

Typically, such stress is not transient but remains a chronic, energy-depleting factor in one's life.


Fight or Flight 


Transforming Bad Stress into Beneficial Stress

While not all distressing experiences can be magically transformed into positive ones, a change in perception can sometimes alter the nature of the stressor. The way our body reacts is heavily influenced by our perception of threats. When something is no longer seen as menacing, our stress response diminishes.

By viewing potential stressors as challenges rather than threats, emotions like fear can be replaced with feelings of excitement, anticipation, or determination. To foster this change in outlook:

  • Highlight the tools and resources at your disposal to face the challenge.
  • Contemplate the positive outcomes or lessons from the situation.
  • Recall past achievements and your inherent strengths.
  • Cultivate an optimistic attitude, training your mind to see the silver lining.

As this positive reframing becomes a habit, it can lead to experiencing more eustress and lessening the impact of distress.


Managing Your Response to Stress

We discussed the “fight-or-flight” response - an immediate reaction to threats. Its calmer counterpart is the “rest and digest” mode, where the parasympathetic nervous system tells your body to relax post a stressful event, signaling safety and tranquility. 

The key to proficient stress management lies in recognizing when you're overwhelmed and ensuring you incorporate breaks to realign with the calming “rest and digest” phase. As such, cultivating strategies to proficiently handle potential acute stress is essential. 

While there isn't a one-size-fits-all or instantaneous solution to diminish the effects of distress, adopting certain self-care techniques can significantly help mitigate its impact. Recognizing these negative stressors and implementing proactive, wholesome strategies is the cornerstone of effective stress management, allowing you to confront and overcome challenges with resilience.

Below are some ways to integrate mindfulness into various aspects of your daily life:

Be Mindful of What You Eat

The foods we consume play a significant role in how we feel both mentally and physically. Incorporating stress-reducing foods such as fatty fish, fermented foods like sauerkraut, green leafy vegetables, lean cuts of meat, and calming spices like ginger and turmeric can boost your resistance to the negative effects of stress.


Be Mindful of What You Think

Mindfulness meditation, an ancient technique, encourages staying present and observing thoughts without judgment. It aids in anchoring one's mind to the current moment, reducing the overwhelming feelings of uncertain futures or past regrets.


Be Mindful of What You Allow

Setting boundaries in both personal and professional spheres is crucial. Saying 'no' when needed and managing your time effectively keeps you aligned with your priorities. By maintaining these boundaries, you can better regulate stressors entering your life.


Be Mindful of How You Breathe

Your breath reflects your emotional state. Deep and slow breaths signify calm, while fast and shallow ones often accompany stress. Regulating your breath, by taking ten deep breaths during stressful moments, can help reset your body's stress response, leading to clarity and calm.


Be Mindful of How You Move

Daily physical activity, even just a 15-minute walk or quick workout, can alleviate stress. Movement releases endorphins, nature's stress-relievers, promoting a feeling of well-being and relaxation.


Be Mindful of Who’s Around You

Having a supportive network, whether family, friends, or professionals, is invaluable. Confiding in loved ones provides relief, and when personal connections aren't enough, professional counseling can be a game-changer. Services like Talkspace offer accessible online therapy, providing a judgment-free space to express and manage your stressors.


How CBD Can Play a Role

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the non-psychoactive component of the hemp plant. It can help support your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a role in all other bodily systems. According to a study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, it’s a key player when it comes to helping your body regulate everyday stressors.

Your ECS manufactures its own endogenous cannabinoids, which are chemicals that help you react to stress, regulate feelings of fear and adapt to changes in your environment.

By supporting your ECS, CBD may help promote a healthy stress response and help reduce tension — a claim that’s been examined in numerous scientific studies, including those published in the Journal of Cannabis Research, The Permanente Journal and Neurotherapeutics, with promising results.



Life is replete with a spectrum of stresses, ranging from those that invigorate and motivate us, to those that weigh heavily on our well-being. While a degree of good stress can serve as a catalyst, propelling us forward, it's crucial to remain vigilant about the potential tipping point where it transforms into detrimental, chronic stress.

Integrating mindfulness into our daily routines, from the food we consume to the boundaries we set, can play a significant role in managing and mitigating the adverse effects of overwhelming stress.

As we journey through life's highs and lows, let's remember to recognize, respect, and respond to our body and mind's signals, ensuring we maintain a healthy balance in our stress levels.


NextEvo Recommends

NextEvo prides itself on delivering high-quality products that cater specifically to those grappling with the pressures of daily life. Here's a closer look at two of their products designed to address stress:


Stress CBD Complex Gummies

Available at NextEvo Stress CBD Complex Gummies, these gummies offer the advantages of CBD in a delightful and easy-to-consume form. When choosing a CBD product, it's essential to remember that not all CBDs are crafted equal. Opt for products that are supported by sound scientific research and come from a reputable source.

NextEvo's Stress CBD Complex Gummies are formulated with water-soluble CBD, which research has provento show an enhanced bioavailability and quick action. This means users can experience the benefits faster.


Stress Reset Extra Strength Ashwagandha Gummies

Another powerful offering is the Stress Reset Extra Strength Ashwagandha Gummies. Ashwagandha, a potent adaptogenic herb, has been traditionally used for centuries to combat stress. These gummies harness the resilience-building properties of Ashwagandha to aid the body in navigating through stressful situations.

Just like their CBD counterparts, these gummies are designed for easy consumption, ensuring that you can get your dose of calm even on the go.



What term describes positive stress?

Positive stress is commonly referred to as "eustress." This is a beneficial form of stress that arises when an individual feels stimulated or invigorated by new challenges or experiences. Eustress often produces feelings of enthusiasm and exhilaration, sharpening one's concentration and enhancing task performance.


How does positive stress manifest in an academic setting?

In an educational context, positive stress propels students to be more attentive and determined. This energizing sensation can heighten their commitment to their studies and boost their drive to excel. When students feel this type of stress, they often experience increased motivation, eagerness to learn, and a strong desire to meet their objectives.


How can one perceive stress positively?

A positive perspective on stress entails recognizing its potential advantages, even when faced with daunting challenges. It means focusing on life's brighter aspects, even amidst adversities. By emphasizing the positive, individuals can maintain motivation, nurture hope, and promote both their mental and physical well-being.


How do good and bad stress differ in a professional environment?

Within the realm of employment, good stress, or "eustress," is seen as a catalyst that stimulates employees, generating excitement and fostering a challenging atmosphere that can elevate productivity levels.

This form of stress can arise from factors like tight deadlines, high stakes, or healthy competition among colleagues. In contrast, bad stress, or "distress," is detrimental, leading to reduced efficiency, health complications, or even job termination. 

Distress can emerge from various sources such as job instability, problematic relationships with coworkers, or excessive workloads. 

Stacy Mosel, LMSW, is a licensed social worker and psychotherapist. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, she continued her studies at New York University, earning a master of social work degree in 2002. She writes in the fields of mental health and holistic wellness, drawing on her prior experiences as an employee assistance program counselor, individual and family therapist and assistant director of a child and family services agency.