Good and Bad Stress

Stress can be good and bad.  Stress that overwhelms and ferments within the soul is bad.   It builds up within the body and releases the fight or flight response which in the moment may be good but over time can become detrimental to health.  Stress however that pushes one forward to meet challenges in the moment can be a benefit.  It ultimately depends how the body responds to certain stress and how long the stressors remain.  Learning to identify good and bad stress is very important in all aspects of life.


There are many forms of good and bad stress. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program

The article, “Why Stress Is Like Debt And How To Harness Its Productive Power” by Noah Mishkin takes an interesting approach at viewing stress and how one can better distinguish between good and bad stress.   In many ways stressors can help one identify issues that need resolved immediately while other stressors can anchor and bog one down in one’s daily work.  Bad stress is what needs to be limited and contained.  He states,

“The onset of stress can happen in an instant, leaving entrepreneurs figuratively paralyzed and unable to function adequately or cope heartily. Stress can also creep up in small, unnoticeable doses, accumulating over time, until the moment you realize how completely overwhelmed you’ve become, making it harder to take control.”

“Why Stress Is Like Debt And How To Harness Its Productive Power”. Noah Mishkin. Forbes. September 27th, 2022.   To read the entire article, please click here


Reacting and coping with stress is an important part of business and life itself.  It is critical to face stressors but when one cannot it is best to try to let things go so the body does not remain in a state of unresolved energy.  How one faces stress is key.

Stress Itself

Stress is a normal physical and mental response to the demands of life. A small amount of stress can be good, motivating us to meet deadlines and achieve goals. However, too much stress can have negative effects on our health, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and anxiety. Stress can also lead to poor decision-making, decreased productivity and absenteeism from work or school. Managing stress is important for our overall well-being.

Stressors are any type of demand placed on an individual. The body reacts to stressors by releasing hormones, such as cortisol, which help the individual cope with the demand. If the demand is chronic, or long-lasting, it can lead to health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Good Stress

There are two types of stress: good stress and bad stress. Good stress, also known as eustress, is the type of stress that motivates you to accomplish a task. It’s the kind of stress that keeps you alert and focused. Bad stress, on the other hand, is the type of stress that impedes your ability to think clearly and function properly. It’s the kind of stress that leads to anxiety and depression.

There is a growing body of research that suggests that certain types of stress can actually be beneficial for individuals. These are typically referred to as “good” stressors or “positive” stressors. Good stressors generally involve some type of challenge or opportunity for growth, and they often lead to increased levels of motivation and productivity. While too much stress can obviously be detrimental, a moderate amount of good stress can actually help people reach their full potential.

Some stress in business is actually good and can lead to healthy outcomes. Good stress, or eustress, can stimulate people and help them be more productive. It can also help motivate employees and make them feel more invested in their work. In some cases, a little bit of stress can actually be beneficial.

Bad Stress

The term “bad stress” is typically used to describe a negative psychological state brought on by exposure to a stressful situation. This can include feeling overwhelmed, anxious, hopeless, or even panicked. Bad stress can lead to physical health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It can also make it difficult to concentrate, make decisions, or even think clearly.

Bad stress in business refers to the negative impacts that stress can have on businesses, such as decreased productivity, employee absenteeism, and increased health care costs. Stress can also lead to more serious problems such as employee turnover, legal issues, and financial problems. While some stress is inevitable in any business, it is important to try to minimize bad stress by creating a positive work environment, providing adequate resources and support, and communicating effectively with employees.


In conclusion, stress is not all bad. A certain amount of stress can be helpful in getting us motivated to meet a deadline or achieve a goal. The key is to manage our stress levels so that we don’t become overwhelmed. When we are able to do this, we can harness the power of stress to help us reach our potential.  Also in doing, so especially in the business sphere, one can better deal with challenges and problems in a productive way instead of allowing stress to derail company work.  Stress is a big problem in business and through better stress management skills can be lowered among employees.  It is hence important to identify good and bad stressors in life and deal accordingly with them.


Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management Consulting.  The program consists of online CE courses that lead to the four year certification.


Additional Resources

“Good stress, bad stress”.  Firdaus Dhabhar, PhD.  Stanford Medicine News Center. December 21st, 2012. Access here

“Why Stress Is Both Good and Bad”. Angela Grippo Ph.D. Psychology Today. January 20th, 2016.  Access here

“Good Stress, Bad Stress—The Delicate Balance in the Vasculature”. Kirstin Wingler and Harald H. H. W. Schmidt. Dtsch Arztebl Int Oct 2009. Access here

“The History of Stress” Mariana Bockarova, Ph.D. Psychology Today. December 29th, 2021. Access here