I know that most of us, myself included, think of stress in a negative context. Something to rid ourselves of, or reduce in our lives, so that we can lower our blood pressure, get better sleep, and improve our overall well-being.
When we feel stress, it’s usually comes from anger or fear. Anger from some external source (a person or situation), and fear from danger, failure, public speaking, underperforming, making a difficult decision… you know, you probably experienced it at least a little bit today. When we’re under pressure from anger or fear, we feels stress… it makes us want to escape, shut down, or do anything we can to avoid the pressure (i.e. drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping).
But consider this… there is actually a type of stress that is positive. You experience it when you take something on that is “hard fun” or hard work that you enjoy. It’s called “eustress” and comes from the combination of the Greek eu for “well-being,” and stress. Eustress is virtually identical to the other sort of “negative” stress… in fact, under eustress, physiologically, you exhibit the same symptoms – sympathetic nervous system prepping your body for “fight or flight”, elevated heart rate, higher blood pressure, increased cortisol and epinephrine production, and increased blood flow to the heart, large muscle groups and attention control centers of the brain.
What is different about eustress, however, is your frame of mind. You aren’t experiencing fear or anger. Instead, you might be nervous, but you’re excited, invigorated, feel alive and full of energy, and you’re confident (since you did, after all, choose to take this “hard fun” activity on yourself.) Believe it or not, this excited invigoration, this stress… it’s way more mood boosting than relaxing. As long as we believe we’re capable of meeting the challenge, we’re motivated, engaged, and most alive during these “stressful” situations.
So the next time you think that the only way to unwind is to “relax”, consider that there may be other options… reading an all-consuming book, practicing an instrument, playing a game of cards, going for a run, cleaning your house, even playing video games… might just offer you the mind boost and capacity to unwind you were looking for.
A) For quality
1 mi Run
B) 6 Rounds for fun and quality
With a partner, take turns to both complete each movement of each round:
30 Double Unders
6 Alt Dumbbell Snatches
5 Sandbag Ground to Shoulder
50m Sandbag Front Carry
And Coming Thursday
A) 5 Rounds for quality (:30:30)
B) 6 Rounds for quality on the 3:00
Max Effort Bench press (BW / ⅔ BW)
**30 Sec cap each round**