How Stress at Work Can Be Good for Your Health

Stressed at work

Like-minded individuals will be aware of the stress that working can bring, and the general consensus is that stress is a negative effect that should be avoided at all costs. I myself try to avoid any scenario that may cause unnecessary pressure however this is not always possible especially in my working environment. Everyone in work claims that they are stressed. Any job that is target driven or has deadlines can potentially increase the stress levels of staff members but is this always a bad thing?

Stress if not kept under control can quickly progress into a range of health issues that vary dramatically in severity. Generally those who are under vast amounts of pressure will often suffer with illnesses including migraines, insomnia and obesity and whilst these conditions may at first not seem all that serious they each can be responsible for the development of detrimental issues including heart disease.

I believe that if you are able to manage stress accordingly you will notice benefits both mentally and physically. Positive stress is sometimes refereed to as eustress whilst negative stress is regarded as distress.

Eustress is common in many non-work related situations and on how the individual perceives stress but generally it can be found in those who are:

  • Watching sport
  • Competing in a tournament
  • Gambling
  • Participating in desired physical activities
  • Watching a thrilling movie

Positive stress can also be present in the workplace and found in those who are facing a challenging experience, however hindrances which interfere with the task can quickly change eustress into distress. It is also worth noting that working within a group situation can promote positive stress and prevent negativity.


Studies conducted in recent years have lead experts to believe that short bursts of stress can significantly improve our ability to remember key events. A person in this situation would feel in control of the situation and upon completion would experience a sense of accomplishment.

Colds and Flu

Believe it or not, if you are faced with a challenge the body will work harder to keep you in tip top condition, this means that it will be fighting off flu and viruses such as colds in order to keep you fit to work. People only start becoming ill after prolonged periods of stress as the body is unable to work at ‘110%’ efficiency for so long.

Accelerated Recovery Times

Any injury or illness that is severe can be stressful but believe it or not, this stress can improve recovery times. This was proven when a study of patients undergoing knee surgery was conducted. 57 patients had blood samples taken before and after the surgery and the results showed that the patients immune system responds to stress by distributing vast amounts of pathogen to the affected area which in turn speeds up recovery.

Improve the Bodies Ability to Cope

Negative experiences can actually help us deal with them better in future. A survey of 2500 people who were asked about a troublesome period of their life including marital problems or family bereavement showed that those who have faced adversity several times, dealt with any further problems and adapted to suit each issue.

photo credit: Sybren A. Stüvel via photopin cc

  • So true! It can also be very inspiring to get things done! And just imagine the relief as soon as it’s over…!

  • Stress can be a good thing, we just never seem to think that way during the stressful times :)

  • There are some positive points to stress and I think it’s great that you wrote this up!! It had forgotten that sometimes stress is a GREAT thing!

  • Laurie

    Acute and chronic stress and inflammation have similar traits in that the acute phases are very important to our survival and our immune system function. Their chronic states however, not only destroy any benefit, but wreak havoc on our hormone, immune system and brain function. Acute=important….. Chronic= detrimental