Distress, Eustress, and Stress
The Quick AnswerWhat are the differences between distress, stress, and eustress?
- Distress is extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain.
- Stress is something that causes a state of strain or tension. It can also mean to put emphasis or importance on something.
- Eustress is beneficial stress.
Distress, Stress, and Eustress
DistressDistress refers to extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain.
The word distress is usually seen as a noun, but it may also be used as a verb. There are different types of distress (e.g., financial distress, emotional distress).
- The distress in her voice was highly noticeable.
- The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection. (Thomas Paine)
- I like a little bit of the fairy tale. Let others photograph the ugliness of the world. I don't want to distress people. (Leo McCarey) (Here, distress is a verb.)
StressThe word stress has more than one meaning:
To place particular emphasis or importance on something.
- I can't stress this enough. (Here, stress is a verb.)
- Did you put enough stress on the importance of this task? (Here, stress is a noun.)
- The fabric looked stressed from being stretched. (Here, stress is a verb.)
- This looks like stress on the metal rod. (Here, stress is a noun.)
- I am stressing over the party. (Here, stress is a verb.)
- That's what it is to be a grandma. All fun and no stress. (Marie Osmond) (Here, stress is a noun.)
EustressThe noun eustress means beneficial stress. It can be either psychological or physical.
- Eustress fosters challenge and motivation since the goal is in sight.
- Hargrove, Nelson, and Cooper described eustress as being focused on a challenge, fully present, and exhilarated.