Technically, positive stress is called eustress: moderate or normal physiological stress we consider beneficial.
It’s the necessary ingredient for all forms of growth and development and therefore, all adaptation.
That being said, your stress and adaptation system is (paradoxically) incredibly strong yet shockingly delicate.
Short instances of stress build resiliency. This stress (physical, mental, emotional, nutritional, etc.),must be applied in a way that does not exhaust or traumatize your organism. Not to mention we need adequate recovery time before the next instance.
It sounds like a well designed fitness program, doesn’t it? That’s because the best coaches and athletes understand the principles of positive adaptive stress. They then employ them with exquisite care to produce excellence.
How Much Postive Stress Is Too Much?
But how would your exercise routine affect your body if you did it 2x or 5x / day? It would stop making you fit and start wrecking you
That is where the delicacy comes in. When the application of stress becomes too intense, too much, and too frequent, it stops making you strong and starts making you sick.
Your organism doesn’t distinguish much between stress and fitness, or work, or family. It’s all stress. And unlike a well designed fitness program, most of our work, family, and life stressors are all over the map. They are far too frequent, prolonged, and without adequate rest between bouts. We push ourselves to achieve in all aspect of our lives and it’s simply, too much.
The Effects of Too Much Stress
The outcome of our over-stressed life is not eustress but chronic stress.
And chronic stress is degenerative and destructive to our organism. It inevitably leads to exhaustion, burnout, disease, premature aging, and death.
So yes, positive stress is a thing, and when used correctly. It can make you younger, faster, stronger, and more resilient. However, it’s difficult to benefit from it, if you are already stressed the fuck out.