How to use Good Stress to Overcome Burnout


Why Stress Can Be Good for You

When we think of stress, we often associate it with negative feelings and health issues. However, not all stress is bad for us. By understanding different types of stress and their impacts on our brain and body, we can learn to harness certain kinds of stress for our benefit. This blog will explore the concept of stress, distinguish between acute and chronic stress, and explain why acute stress can be beneficial for us.

What is Stress?

Stress is essentially your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. It can manifest as a feeling of emotional or physical tension. This reaction can be broken down into two main types: acute stress and chronic stress. Acute stress is intense but short-lived, like the rush you get when you’re about to give a big presentation or the surge of energy you feel in a dangerous situation. Chronic stress, on the other hand, is prolonged and can last for weeks, months, or even years. It’s the kind of stress that comes from ongoing issues, such as a difficult job or a long-term financial problem.

How Stress Affects Us

  1. Acute Stress: Acute stress can be seen as a survival mechanism. Imagine a zebra grazing peacefully, only to suddenly find itself being chased by a lion. The zebra’s body goes into acute stress mode, pumping adrenaline and other hormones to help it run faster and escape the predator. Once the danger is gone, the zebra returns to a relaxed state, ready to continue its day. In humans, acute stress triggers the same kind of response: a burst of energy and focus that helps us tackle immediate challenges. This type of stress can actually be good for us, as it prepares our body and mind to deal with critical situations.
  2. Chronic Stress: Chronic stress is a different story. It occurs when we are constantly exposed to stressors, such as work pressure, relationship issues, or financial worries. This prolonged activation of our stress response can lead to various health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Chronic stress can also lead to the enlargement of the amygdala, the part of our brain responsible for emotional responses, making us more susceptible to anxiety and fear.

What If We Could Harness Acute Stress?

Understanding that acute stress can be beneficial opens up opportunities to use it to our advantage. Here are some ways to deliberately induce acute stress in a controlled and beneficial manner:

  1. Fasting: Intermittent fasting, where you limit your eating to a specific window of time, can create acute stress for your body. This stress, in turn, can enhance your brain function and increase your stress tolerance.
  2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): This form of exercise involves short bursts of intense activity followed by periods of rest. HIIT not only improves physical fitness but also induces acute stress, which can help in building resilience and improving overall health.
  3. Cold Exposure: Brief periods of exposure to cold, such as taking cold showers or ice baths, can also create acute stress. This practice can boost your immune system, improve circulation, and increase your stress tolerance.
  4. Challenging Tasks: Taking on tasks that push you out of your comfort zone can create acute stress, helping you build mental resilience and problem-solving skills. This could be anything from public speaking to learning a new skill or taking on a challenging project at work.


While chronic stress is harmful and should be managed carefully, acute stress can actually be beneficial. By understanding the difference between these types of stress and how they affect our body and mind, we can learn to harness the power of acute stress. Techniques like intermittent fasting, HIIT, cold exposure, and challenging tasks can help induce acute stress in a controlled manner, leading to improved health, resilience, and performance. So, next time you feel a rush of stress, remember that it might just be your body gearing up to help you succeed.

Click here to watch the video:

Thoughtful Quotes:

  • A Perfectionist is chasing an illusion it doesn't exist in business

    quote image

    Ruble Chandy

Share via
Copy link