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Differences between Distress and Eustress

Differences between Distress and Eustress

It’s important to understand the difference between distress and eustress because they can have very different effects on our mental and physical health. Distress is bad for us and can lead to a wide range of negative outcomes, while eustress is good for us and has been linked with positive outcomes like increased productivity and creativity. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what these two terms mean and explore the differences between them.

What is Distress?

Distress is a term used to describe a negative emotional state, typically in response to an adverse situation. It can lead to feelings of anxiety, sadness, and helplessness. Distress can also cause physical symptoms such as increased heart rate and sweating.

  • In severe cases, it can even result in mental health problems like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. While everyone experiences distress at some point in their lives, some people are more vulnerable to it than others.
  • Factors that can increase the risk of distress include genetics, previous trauma, and mental illness. If you’re struggling with distress, there are many resources available to help you.
  • Therapists can provide support and guidance, and medication may be prescribed if necessary. With the right treatment, it is possible to manage distress and live a healthy and fulfilling life.

What is Eustress?

Eustress is a type of stress that is associated with positive outcomes. While distress is associated with negative outcomes, eustress is associated with favorable outcomes like feelings of excitement and enthusiasm. Eustress can help motivate people to accomplish goals. Eustress is also linked to improved health and well-being. For example, eustress has been shown to boost the immune system, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce stress hormones. Eustress can also increase life satisfaction and happiness. So while eustress is a form of stress, it is generally considered to be beneficial.

Differences between Distress and Eustress

  • Distress and eustress are two types of stress that can have an impact on our physical and mental health. Distress is the type of stress that is caused by negative events, such as a death in the family or losing a job.
  • Eustress, on the other hand, is the type of stress that is caused by positive events, such as getting married or starting a new job. While both types of stress can cause physical symptoms, such as headaches or fatigue, distress is more likely to lead to mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression.
  • In contrast, eustress can actually be beneficial for our mental health, providing us with a sense of motivation and helping us to feel good about ourselves. Therefore, it is important to understand the difference between distress and eustress in order to manage our stress levels in a healthy way.


It’s important to be able to distinguish between the two types of stress, because they have different effects on our health and well-being. Distress can lead to a number of negative outcomes such as anxiety, depression, heart disease, and more. Eustress, on the other hand, is beneficial in that it can increase productivity and motivation while also reducing stress levels. Knowing which type of stress you are experiencing is essential for managing your mental and physical health.

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