How Stress Can Benefit Your Body And Mind

Image by: Bernard Goldbach
By Will Rand

Stress can be positive for us, especially for men. There is something called positive stress that propagates our life forward and enhances things like exercise, work, and relationships. Its also known as “eustress.”

Stress can give us positive feelings like excitement mixed with a little bit of fear such as with a new promotion or marrying our first spouse. The key to using stress for an advantage and performance enhancer is to feel just enough where it stimulates excitement, creativity or better performance socially, physically, or mentally.

Stress Can Recover Your Body Faster

Research from the Institute for Immunity showed that acute stress (short-term stress) elevates the immune system and mobilizes or acts like a commander of troops or important immune cells in the blood.

Research found the same for patients that had knee surgery and with a boosted immune system under short-term stress they were able to recover faster than those who were not placed under short-term stress.

We know that sleep is the primary time that our muscles recover, but maybe with a little stress you can recover just as well during the day so that you won’t feel that painful soar feeling as you walk down the stairs, or gasp because your abs are painfully soar when you breath.

Stress Can Improve Memory

Yes you heard it right, short-term stress can increase short-term memory, because of cortisol spikes in the brain that activate various regions in the hippocampus and localized memory regions. However, the study from New Mexico State University found that constantly elevated cortisol won’t show much improvement in your memory.

So when you’re asking for that girl’s phone number at the bar, a small amount of cortisol might help you remember the number she typed or wrote just in case you lose it. This happens to men all of the time, not to say that a lack of stress caused you to lose a phone number but has been shown to be linked with carelessness, a spike of stress might have actually helped you remember and retain the number.

Stress Increases Social Behavior

In a 2012 study, researchers at the University of Freiburg in Germany reported that when subjects were placed under stress by public speaking or a timed math test, a specific threshold of stress level had actually increased positive social behavior than the control subjects who were not given stressful situations.

One reason why social behavior might increase after a stressful situation is because being social is known to relieve stress. So go out there and be a social guy, the benefits of stress can help you maintain focus and alertness in work, school or training. Perhaps it will show your boss that you’re focused and always on task. You would be able to smell your next promotion.