Is good stress an oxymoron? Are there any options

woman multi-tasking at work next to woman experiencing TMJ

As a woman, I am no stranger to stress. From juggling work and family responsibilities to dealing with societal pressures to look and act a certain way, stress has become a constant companion. And like many women, I have often bought into the idea that some stress is good for us – that it helps us to stay motivated, focused, and on top of our game.

Actually, I grew up under that thinking! By the time I was in the second decade of my career, TMJ was wreaking havoc. The headaches were over the top, and all the dental interventions were unsuccessful.

This became my burning platform for change and action.

The more I have learned about the effects of stress on our bodies and minds, the more I have come to challenge this myth of “good stress.” In reality, all stress – whether caused by a looming deadline or a fight with a loved one – takes a toll on our health and well-being.

One of the most insidious aspects of the “good stress” myth is that it can make us feel guilty for struggling with stress. We may tell ourselves that we should be able to handle the demands of our lives without feeling overwhelmed or anxious. We may worry that admitting to stress will make us appear weak or incapable. But the truth is that stress is a natural response to challenging situations, and there is no shame in acknowledging that we are struggling.

Another problem with the “good stress” myth is that it can lead us to overlook the negative effects of chronic stress. When we believe that stress is beneficial, we may ignore the warning signs that our bodies are giving us – such as headaches, insomnia, or digestive issues – and push ourselves to keep going. Over time, this can lead to more serious health problems, such as heart disease, depression, or autoimmune disorders.

So, what can we do to challenge the myth of “good stress“?

  • For starters, we can recognize that stress is not inherently good or bad – it’s simply a response to our environment.
  • We can also learn to identify the sources of stress in our lives and take steps to reduce or manage them.
  • This may involve setting boundaries, practicing self-care, or seeking professional support.

Most importantly, we can let go of the idea that stress is a sign of weakness or failure. By acknowledging our struggles and seeking help when we need it, we can begin to break down the stigma around stress and create a more supportive and compassionate culture for all.


Stressed out and tired of the “good stress” myth?

Let’s challenge it together! As a HeartMath coach, I can help you identify the sources of stress in your life and learn techniques to manage them. Say goodbye to guilt and shame and prioritize your health and well-being. Book a complimentary call with me today to learn more.

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