The Dual Faces of Stress

We often talk about stress like it’s a bad thing.

I mean, much of our content revolves around managing and reducing it, right?

But there’s a good side to stress that we often overlook. Yes, you heard that right!

Stress, like a coin, has two sides: Eustress and Distress.

Understanding them is so important for us to effectively manage stress and work with it better to get its benefits.

So, let’s talk about it.

➡️ Eustress is the adrenaline rush that fuels us to meet a challenge, the motivating factor behind many of our achievements.

It’s the type of stress we feel:

  • When Facing Exciting Challenges: Like starting a new project or preparing for a major event.
  • During Positive Life Changes: Such as getting married or buying a new house.
  • While Pursuing Personal Goals: Like training for a marathon or learning a new skill.
  • And more positive challenges…

It’s energizing, not draining – pushing us towards growth and accomplishment.

➡️ On the other hand, there’s Distress, the side of stress we often talk about.

It’s the overwhelming feeling that comes when:

  • Workloads Overburden: Constant deadlines and unmanageable workloads are classic examples
  • Personal Challenges Overwhelm: Like financial worries, relationship issues, or health concerns
  • Uncertainty Prevails: Especially in times of change or instability
  • And more negative challenges…

Distress can be mentally and physically draining, affecting our health, productivity, and well-being.

And so, we need a way to manage the Distress, and get more of the Eustress.

Here are a few ways how:

  1. Recognize Your Stress Type: Start by identifying whether you’re experiencing eustress or distress. This awareness is key.
  1. Embrace Eustress: Channel the energy from eustress into productive activities. Be intentional in using it as the fuel to drive creativity and problem-solving.
  1. Mitigate Distress: Develop coping strategies for distress. This could include mindfulness practices, exercise, or seeking support from friends, family, or professionals.
  1. Balance is Key: Aim for a healthy balance. Too much eustress can be as overwhelming as distress. Find your equilibrium where stress motivates but doesn’t overwhelm.
  1. Set Boundaries: Learn to say no and set limits. Overcommitting, whether at work or in personal life, can quickly turn eustress into distress.
  2. Regular Check-ins: Take time to assess your stress levels. Ask yourself: How am I feeling? Am I energized or drained? This will help you adjust your approach and activities accordingly.

Understanding and managing the two faces of stress can lead to a healthier, more productive life.

It’s about recognizing when stress is a positive challenge and when it’s a warning sign to step back and regroup. 🖤

Want more guidance with stress management?

Our Signature Stress Resilience Training can help. We offer in-depth resources, videos, and guides to combat stress more effectively.

Learn more and inquire here!

Create a great day,

Amanda + Team Mako Mindfulness #MakoMindfulness


Feeling stressed out & psychologically unsafe at work?

Check out our guides!

The Mako Method™ Resource Guide for Stress Management

Download our resource guide and learn over 50 ways you can use quick breathing exercises, affirmations, gratitude, journaling, and perspectives practices throughout the day to manage your stress and create psychological safety at work.


The Mako Method™ for Psychological Safety – The Ultimate Checklist

Download our free checklist to learn our framework of best practices for creating and experiencing more Psychological Safety at Work. 

Which guide do you want?