I was recently on a facebook group that asked, “What is the opposite of stressed?” The answers where what you may think. Content, relaxed, at ease, happy…and the like. Then I answered, “Dead”. Dead? Yes dead. If we do not have any stress in our life we have no challenges, physically or mentally. Without stress to grow, adapt and strengthen us physically and mentally, we are dying or dead.

We commonly hear about how we have to reduce stress to be healthy. That stress is the leading cause of dis-ease and illness. That we should avoid stress at all costs. And yes, there is some truth to that. But not the whole truth. Chronic stress wears on our body and elevates some hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline. If they run rampant and don’t get under control, it will eventually wear our body down and lead to dis-ease, adrenal fatigue and dysregulate the HPA axis. There are many ways to avoid, dampen or correct the imbalance caused by chronic stress. Exercise, proper diet and supplementation when needed, changes in the environment and many natural healing modalities including chiropractic care. But there is also another kind of stress; a good stress. It’s called eustress.

Eustress is acute, short term, stress that puts us into a sympathetic neurological state temporarily. After the stressful event our body is able to reset, become calm and restore itself to a state of ease. We encounter eustress in many ways. Learning a new skill, a new language, a new habit. Experiencing a stressful event like speaking in front of a crowd or overcoming a fear. Exercising is a great eustress. Exercise is stressful on the body but it builds stronger muscles, bones and releases hormones that make you feel great! Eustress compels you to try new things, allows you to challenge yourself and improve cognitive function as well as physical strength. By definition eustress is stress that is deemed healthful or giving one the feeling of fulfillment

So many people fear stress. Stress is unavoidable. But also know that it can be healthy and help promote wellness and vitality! Chronic stress is what we want to avoid. So make sure you are challenging your mind and your body. Make sure you try new things and don’t be afraid of living life to it’s fullest!

And don’t forget to get adjusted.

There is a difference between living, and living well!

Dr. Cheryl Schmitt