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Two Kinds of Stress

Cory Muscara



Cory Muscara



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Two Kinds of Stress

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, welcome back to

your Daily Mindfulness.

In today's session, I'm going to

share two different kinds of stress.

So a common narrative is that stress

is bad, but this is simplistic.

Chances are, you've probably seen when

stress has served you in a positive way.

Maybe helping you to meet a deadline,

maybe telling you when you need

to change something in your life,

maybe providing a little extra

motivation to accomplish something.

So we all have stories of

when stress has served us.

We all also have stories of when

stress has not served us, when it's

been too overwhelming, maybe to

the point of being debilitating.

So this is where we can start to

see two different kinds of stress.

There's use stress and

then there's distress.

Use stress can be helpful.

It can be enough stress that

we have some motivation for our

growth or to accomplish something.

And use stress is within our tolerance.

It's something that we can

hold internally without feeling

like it's too overwhelming.

It can also be a form of

a cognitive enhancement.

It can make us a little sharper.

Distress is stress that

is too overwhelming.

It's holding us back.

There's too much activation

in our nervous system.

This is when the stress

that you're feeling is not

allowing you to think straight.

It's causing you to maybe feel irrational

in relationship to what's coming up.

Too much fear, and you're

not able to do something that

is a, a daily task of yours.

So use stress versus distress.

Usestress is essentially when the energy

provided is proportionate to what is.

So stress is a form of energy in the body.

And so when that energy is proportionate

to what is needed in the moment.

So if you think of needing to,

let's say, work on a paper, you have

a deadline, you need some energy

to get sitting down, typing at

your computer, thinking about it.

A little bit of stress and

activation can serve us there.

But if we're feeling too

stressed, I don't know what to do.

I don't know what to say.

I don't know where to start.

All of that activation can actually

prevent us from being able to do anything.

And then instead we, we

distract ourselves, or we take

a nap, something to avoid it.

That's when we go into the category

of distress, when the energy

feels excessive and unusable.

So the main takeaway for today

is just to recognize that there

are these two different kinds of

stress: use stress and distress.

And being aware of that throughout

the day can be helpful for you.

One, to just have the self-awareness of

like, oh, this is a, I am feeling some

stress, but it's a healthy form of stress

that's serving me, or I'm feeling some

stress and I think it's an indication

of I need to take a break, put up some

boundaries, practice some self-care.

Just that awareness can help you

be more intentional in relationship

to what's arising in your life.

Thank you for your practice.

Let's settle in for today's meditation.

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