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Powerful Portables

What are Positive Stressors (Eustress)?

The words ‘positive’ and ’stress’ aren’t exactly the most obvious pairing. We’re often told that we need to reduce stress in order to sleep well, feel well, and generally live well. But did you know some stress can actually be good for you?

 

What is Stress?

 

No matter how monk-like your life may be, we’re all familiar with stress – the state of worry that rears its ugly head when things get tough. Facing immovable deadlines at work? Stress. Dealing with a problematic personal issue? Stress. Life going swimming? Surprisingly, this too can be stressful.

 

Excess stress has become so prevalent that as much as 27% of people feel they’re too stressed to function on most days. It’s an alarming statistic, particularly given the endless physical problems that come with being so consistently on-edge (insomnia, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, and digestive problems, just to name a few).

 

So what’s the best way to keep stress and its myriad dangers at bay? The answer may just be more stress.

The Power of Eustress

The ‘fighting fire with fire’ approach to stress may sound absurd, but hear me out. 

 

Not all stress is actually distressing. Some of it can fill you with feelings of excitement, fulfilment, and confidence. This is what’s known as eustress.

 

Derived from the Greek prefix for ‘good’, eustress is simply any psychological or physical stress that benefits us. It can manifest in near-endless ways. Oxidative stress from exercise is one common example, as is the ‘butterflies in your stomach’ feeling that comes with trying a hobby or taking a new class.

 

When you pursue things that cause eustress, you inherently limit distress. It allows powerful feelings of motivation, anticipation, and relief to replace those of dread, and often results in a tangible achievement. Such is the case when planning a wedding, leaving for a holiday, or experiencing pregnancy and childbirth.

 

Much like ice cream, however, too much eustress can quickly turn into a bad thing. When that course you were so eager to start becomes overwhelming, or the workload from your exciting new job has you snowed under, you experience just how quickly it can flip to distress.

 

The key is to find something that strikes a balance between difficulty and attainability. Something that brings joy just by doing it. Something that’s proven to benefit both the mind and body. Something like ice baths.

Ice Baths for Eustress

For the uninitiated, the thought of hopping into a near-freezing tub of water most definitely sounds DIStressful. You’ll probably wonder: is it even safe? Why would you want to subject yourself to that? How do people even do it?

 

It only takes one plunge, however, for those questions to melt away and the advantages of cold therapy to become apparent. 

 

An ice bath is a controlled stressor that poses the perfect amount of challenge. Though it requires you to push yourself physically and mentally, submerging yourself in cold water is a simple concept. Rarely will you find yourself confused as to what to do next, and it doesn’t result in endless self-doubt or sleepless nights. All it takes is the right equipment and a little discipline.

 

If the challenge itself isn’t enough to motivate you, the feeling you get after your ice bath will. Exposure to cold combats distress by modulating your nervous system to produce feelings of happiness, energy, and focus. The effect is so potent that some researchers have even suggested it could be used to help combat depression.

 

Ice baths also aid exercise performance and promote restorative sleep, and we all know how important they can be to feeling your most relaxed self.

Elevate Your Mental Health With iCool

If you’re interested in the stress-busting benefits of ice baths, iCoolsport has you covered. 

 

iCoolsport offers a range of ice baths for varying needs. In fact, iCool invented modern ice baths and are the largest global supplier. From the single-person IceOne bath to solutions big enough for the whole family, we cover all bases.

 

Of course you’ll need a way to cool the water. Our iCool Compact Chill is suitable for baths of up to 500L and can maintain a constant water temperature of as little as two degrees. With easy to use one touch start and wifi remote controls, it makes taking regular ice baths a cinch, allowing you to increase your cold tolerance gradually and consistently. 

 

For more information about ice baths, peruse our blog and explore our range online.