Posted by: Genene Valleau
Current project: promoting STARS IN YOUR EYES
Mood: Eustressed!

Long, long ago…I remember learning about something called “eustress” or good stress. You might say there’s no such thing as good stress, but it’s in the dictionary. I know because I looked it up to be sure my memory was right. 🙂

Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all I remembered about eustress, so I did some research.

Eustress was defined by Dr. Han Selye as stress that is healthy or gives a feeling of fulfillment or other positive feelings. Examples of eustress for the hero and heroine in our books could be falling in love and getting married. For a writer, eustress could be getting a book published or hitting the bestseller lists.

If you want to read more about Dr. Selye–or Dr. Stress, as he was sometimes called– and the chemical reactions of the human body to stress, check out **http://www.icnr.com/articles/thenatureofstress.html**. I have to tell you that I did not read word for word through this entire article. It was simply too stressful. 🙂

An article by several Ph.D.’s at mentalhealth.net states that positive stress can motivate and focus energy, feel exciting and improve performance. On the other hand, distress or negative stress feels unpleasant, can cause anxiety or concern, and can lead to mental and physical problems.

Like many other things in our lives, our perception is what causes distress (bad stress) or eustress (good stress).

So the choice is ours. We can damage our bodies by thinking that stress is bad. Or we can look at stress as a challenge that gives us the opportunity to grow, and tell the world, “Bring it on!”

Which choice do you make?



  1. Cool information Genene.

    I used to call this good stress – being fired up. You know what, I think I’ll still call it that. Eustress just sounds weird.

    Leave it to the mental health pro’s to come up with a word to take all the fun out of feeling empowered.

  2. I think you’re right, Genene. If everything is stressful and all stress is bad, what’s left? Become permanent couch potatoes? Yuck.

    I’m all for enthusiasm, obsession, passion for what we do. And I’m all for living through the rough times so we’re prepared to love the good times.

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