Good Stress vs. Bad Stress: Understanding the Difference

Yes, there is such a thing as good stress.

Small amounts of good stress keep you focused and motivated. You grow through certain levels of stress. The stress gravity exerts on you makes your bones denser and your muscles stronger.

When you exercise, your endurance rises as a result of the stress you impose on yourself. When you decide to do something like read a book every month for your personal or professional growth, you are adding stress to your life, but it is productive stress–stress that will result in reward for you and those around you.

Maximizing the good stress in your life is a wise thing to do. In fact, it is necessary for positive change.

Stress becomes bad when it passes the point of growing you and distresses you instead. Perhaps the phone rings, and suddenly there is a problem you didn’t see coming. Perhaps you realize you are way over budget, and there is not much time to get caught up.

The key to handling bad stress is to continually grow your threshold for dealing with it. Some people freak out at the first sign of a negative issue, while others can take the same issue in stride. The difference is their tolerance threshold for stress. Growing that threshold will enable you to deal with bad stress without, well, stressing out.

– Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson

The above excerpt is from p. 165-166 of The New You: A Guide to Better Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Wellness.

With your copy of The New You, you will come away with specific strategies on how to lose weight, get more sleep, lower stress, nurture better relationships, connect with God and much more! Anyone who wants to trade in the frustration of average living and less-than health for the hallmarks of the new life God promises will find The New You an effective personal guide for the journey.

Your partner in ministry,


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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyHealth, Leadership, Ministry