Stressing yourself out too much can have a negative effect on your life. Stressing yourself a bit — especially if it’s for something you enjoy doing — can have the opposite effect, actually helping to improve your health. Photo by Benjamin Watson.
As advice site Barking Up the Wrong Tree explains, as unpleasant as it may be in the moment, stress acts as a motivator for us. Take that away and your quality of life starts to decrease. This can be particularly tricky for those who retire without having other activities to fall back on:
No doubt, studies show too much stress can be bad for your health. But the important words there are “too much.” Some stress can be also be healthy.
You need to strive toward goals to get the most out of life. If you want to perform — and live — optimally, you don’t need zero stress. You need a Goldilocks-style “just right” amount.
What happens when you retire and stop challenging yourself? Your brain turns to mush, that’s what.
Of course, some people retire and keep challenging themselves. Likewise, some people stop challenging themselves long before they retire. If you want to keep your mind sharp and stay motivated to do the things that keep you healthy, instead of vegging out on Netflix during all your free time, it’s helpful to maintain a bit of stress.
The key, however, is that it’s better if you enjoy the work. Being stressed because you’re working a job you hate or because your home life is miserable doesn’t really motivate you to improve. It just drains you. Fixing those problems to avoid that stress is fine. However, if you find work you enjoy, don’t be afraid if it stresses you out a bit. That’s normal and healthy.
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