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How To Turn Distress Into Eustress

We know this time of the semester is very stressful. With final exams approaching, summer internships beginning, and even taking on a full-time job, it is important to realize stress is a natural body response. Stress occurs as result of a new action or demand. You've been studying all semester, and now you're at the final stretch. We wanted to focus on the importance of transforming distress into eustress in order to help motivate you all to end the semester strong. Navigating through stress is a difficult process itself, but we have included some examples of each below to help identify what you may be experiencing.

Distress is negative stress that can be due to:

  • Death of a loved one

  • Injury or illness

  • Abuse

  • Monetary issues

  • Lack of employment

  • Issues at school

Eustress is positive stress and can be due to:

  • Going on a vacation

  • Beginning a new job

  • Starting new classes

  • Graduating

  • Moving

  • Meeting new people

As college students, we’ve experienced both and would love to share resources to help you manage your stress! Although we are not mental health experts, below, we share methods that worked for us!

-Taking a day off. We know it is hard to completely step away from work completely, but your body will thank you in the long run. During your day off, you can indulge in self care, plan for the upcoming week, meal prep, or even do nothing!

-Realistic goal setting. By setting individualized goals you will be able to celebrate small victories and even large ones! Creating a realistic plan is the first step, but following through even when you don’t have the motivation can make all the difference.

-Self care. This looks different for everyone, but ultimately you want to do what makes YOU feel good. This can be something as simple as taking extra time to get ready in the morning or even treating yourself to a pedicure, ice cream, or something you’ve wanted for a while.

-Listening to your body. In order to optimize your productivity throughout the day, you want to ensure that you are getting a good night’s rest and providing your body with the fuel it needs to get through the day.

-Accountability partner. Designating an accountability partner is also essential. There will be days when you don’t have the push to make it through. Having someone to hold you accountable and remind you of your worth can help reignite that spark.

How to turn distress to eustress:

Step 1: Examine your stress and determine what causes it to occur. ( If possible remove/decrease excessive stressors)

Step 2: Associate positive ideas with distress. (i.e. Although you didn't do as well on an exam, use this experience as motivation to change your study habits and utilize campus resources)

Step 3: Be present and mindful (Try not to focus on what you failed to accomplish yesterday, but what you can achieve today.)

Step 4: Congratulate yourself for how far you have come. Completing each day is a goal itself!

Fun fact: Colors affect our emotions in more ways than one. The color blue is really great for feeling calm and relaxed.

-Two Be B.R.O.W.N.

1 Comment

William Jacobs
William Jacobs
Apr 24, 2021

Great article!


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