Eustress

Eustress

ˈjuˌstrɛs

Noun

  • Moderate or normal psychological stress, interpreted as being beneficial.

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Example Sentences

“My new job was a challenge, but it was a eustress.”

“I always found finals season to be a source of eustress and motivation.”

“As the restaurant fills up every night, the kitchen is elevated with a mood of eustress.”

Word Origin

English, 1960s

Why this word?

“Eustress” was coined in the 1960s by psychologists exploring the nature of stress. The word was patterned on the word “distress” — by adding the Greek prefix “eu-” (meaning “good”) to the word “stress.” Stress is often experienced as discomfort, anxiety, or suffering and is sometimes associated with the threat of danger. As a counterpoint, psychologists offered the term “eustress” to describe a response to stress that is not distressing, but rather motivating and beneficial. For example, a baseball pitcher taking the field in the World Series may well feel stress, but it’s likely he feels confident of his place on the mound. As a result, he feels eustress — excitement for and focus on his task — rather than distress.

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