If you are like many people, you only associate stress with negative things such as depression, weakened immune system, and fatal diseases such as heart attack and high blood pressure. But did you know that there is a positive side of stress? I know that this is hard to believe but trust me, it is scientifically proven.
Before you disagree, though, have you ever been stressed out in an exam room because a question was too tough for your liking? How did your brain respond? Were you challenged and motivated (at the same time) to think harder and focus more on your subsequent exams?
Well, if you answered yes, then you definitely have benefited from stress, one way or another. However, the benefits of stress are evident, alright, but it is only if you don’t let it get out of hand. That is why you need to contact a life coach whenever you feel overwhelmed by stress.
It is safe to say that if stress isn’t chronic yet, then it could have more benefits than harm.
Here are 5 more benefits of stress that you probably take for granted.
1. Boosting memory
Small chunks of stress can help you memorize more content than you usually do. This is because when your mind registers that you are overwhelmed by a particular task, nothing will ever erase that memory from you. And when you finally get a solution to the challenge, the solution sticks to your brain. So when you are faced by a similar challenge later in life, you will have an easier time solving it.
2. Signaling danger
A stressful scenario causes your body to release chemicals such as cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, all of which prepares your body for a fight. These hormones shock the body and force it to react swift in pursuit of safety. That is why too much stress can cause heart attacks and high blood pressure.
In the case of short-lived stress, however, the flight and fight response can be a lifesaver. Think of a case where you are on the verge of being hit by a car, but due to the sudden stress, your body subconsciously jumps out of harm.
3. Boosts your immune system
They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and they definitely are right. Good or bad stress increases the rate in which your heart pumps blood. Bad stress will lead to heart diseases and high blood pressure. But if you experience small nuggets of stress, the heart gets used to the fluctuations in its pumping rate. Your body also develops a thick skin against high blood pressure. In the long run, the stress fortifies your immune system.
Stress also excites your body’s immune cells and sets them out into your bloodstream in readiness for whichever danger caused the stress. That means an increased immune mechanism, though short-lived.
4. Raises efficiency
If you are working on a 2-hour deadline, for example, you definitely get stressed out because you fear that you won’t deliver. Then just when you are at the peak of your woes, the boss calls to tell you that you need to deliver the best quality and for some reason, you must complete the job within an hour. Because you don’t want to lose your job, you rush through the assignment and manage to deliver an almost perfect result.
If you think about it, stress forced you to be twice as efficient as you previously thought you were.
Also in sports–soccer, for example–a team that trails by one goal towards the end of the game tends to attack more and with greater precision than they did for the entire game. That state of urgency and stress forces the players to pull out their A-game.
5. Increasing your brainpower
Working under unavoidable, moderate stress increases your focus on the task at hand. That added concentration stimulates your brain’s short-term psychological stressors, so you learn more within a shorter period of time. The stressors force your brain to process more information per minute.
As a matter of fact, a mother who experiences mild stress during pregnancy is more likely to give birth to a kid with immense brainpower than a mom who was never stressed at all. Don’t get it twisted, though; too much stress to a pregnant woman can negatively affect the unborn kid.