Benefits of Stress on Health

Stressed woman

By regulating stress levels, we provide required time for internal systems to respond, recover and return to newly set baseline. In moderation, stimuli provide an opportunity for our body to learn and adapt to the elements. As a result, these adaptations improve body’s internal and external functionality. In a sense, experiencing stress makes us Stronger Leaner Faster in physical and mental aspects. 

The following are just some of the benefits that can be attained by stepping outside your comfort zone from time to time, in a controlled calculated manner.

Stress makes You Stronger and Faster

Stress is the premise behind every successful training program. A physical stimulus is presented through progressive overload in the form of intensity, volume, and frequency. The body engages its nervous, muscular, skeletal, connective tissues in order to produce force and overcome mechanical loads of an exercise session.

With adequate rest and nutrition, the body performs all necessary repairs, topping up spent energy, repairs and grows more tissue and generates stronger neural pathways. With the right application of stress, your physical skills of strength and speed improvements as a result.

Increases Brain Power

As mentioned previously, physical exercise not only yields greater muscle tone but the ability to produce contractions. These contractions begin with CNS, by activating available motor units (MUs) which then recruit associated muscle fibers. Improving this mind-to-muscle connection has a neural carryover effect on other cognitive abilities.

Progressively training your brain like any muscle, increases productivity through practice. Short term achievable deadlines improve memory and focus, allowing you to remember more information and perform better on other cognitive tasks, like recalling answers on a midterm exam or preparing work presentations.

Improves Immune System

Many of the stressors faced by the body appear in the form of infection or injury. So, it’s no surprise that the body increases glycoprotein production which boosts overall immune response. The studies mostly done on rodents show that short-term stress not only generates fight-or-flight response but increases immune system activity. Examined patients recovering from surgery have also shown similar increases in the immune response. This is simply an evolution in motion from the hunter-gatherer days of chasing, running and competing for limited resources where the “fittest” did survive.

Increased Performance

Many may believe that work causes stress, and that is a valid statement. But, success lies within the interpretations and turning circumstances into motivators and opportunities. Simply stated, it is easy to get complacent. Try this for yourself by creating a very relaxed schedule with few tasks. Such a setup will generate limited productivity.

Now, try another route. Create set goals and attach them to numerous specific benchmarks that you can begin your ascend towards the ultimate summit. This unchartered direction will undoubtedly feel stressful but, by taking risks through a structured approach, you begin to complete tasks. Soon, this active strategy improves productivity along with confidence and expertise.

Teaches Fearlessness

This is a further elaboration on the previous point. We often fear what we don’t know. By making yourself uncomfortable through new challenges, you not only improve performance but gain confidence and mental toughness. Experience teaches familiarity and that fear is not real.

If left unattended, the mind wanders without rest creating anxiety of any untravelled path. Many say that we are our own biggest challenge, and it becomes apparent whenever attempting something new. The mind instinctively attempts to either intelligently talk us out of the decision, or scares us away from it. By choosing projected challenges, you regain some control of the path while pursuing success through the road less traveled. With practice, fear becomes less of a factor.


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