April 14, 2024

Is Stress Always Bad For Your Health?

When you hear the word “stress” do you think it’s good or bad? I believe most people think of stress as bad. And this makes sense, given that we talk about feeling stressed when we’re tense, angry, and frustrated. But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are different types of stress. So, is stress always bad for your health or are there some benefits?

Good Stress Vs. Bad Stress

It was Dr Hans Selye who first identified the negative effects of bad stress on the body. He identified 3 distinct stages of stress (Tan and Yip, 2018):

1. The alarm stage: Your initial response to a stressful situation.

2. Resistance phase: Your body attempts to adapt to being under stress by maintaining elevated levels of stress hormones.

3. Exhaustion: You exceed your capacity to cope with the stress and reach burnout.

Many of the clients I see for executive nutrition coaching are in the resistance phase or the exhaustion phase. They have been under a great deal of negative stress for a long time and simply don’t have the resources to keep going anymore.

However, at the other end of the scale is eustress or good stress. This is the kind of short-term stress that provides a sense of achievement, growth, or fulfillment.

Eustress is the buzz you get when you achieve something significant and challenging like completing a new work project or mastering a new skill. Regular bouts of positive stress keep you alert, motivated, and interested in life.

woman at top of mountain

Stress, Immunity, and Inflammation

Stress hormones like cortisol interact with your immune system and inflammatory processes.

In the short term, positive stress can help to keep your immune system working efficiently. The “fight or flight” response that kicks in when we encounter stress is designed to help us survive. Small amounts of short-term stress prime the immune response and help you fight invading pathogens effectively (Dhabhar, 2014). And the little bit of oxidative stress that occurs during this response is dealt with before it causes too much inflammatory damage.

Problems arise when stress becomes negative and long-lasting. Scientists estimate that 75-90% of human diseases are linked to stress, with stress-induced inflammation being the root cause of many of these conditions (Liu, 2017).

Chronic stress can increase your risk of:


What Turns Good Stress Into Bad Stress?

We all respond to stress differently and have a unique capacity to cope. What feels like negative stress for one person may be a positive thrill for another, and vice versa.

In general, though, good stress starts to become harmful when it is prolonged and you don’t give yourself the right resources to cope with it. The resources we need to manage long-term stress are rest, good quality sleep, regular daily movement, relaxation, and of course, the right kinds of foods.

woman doing exercise

How to Stop Bad Stress From Ruining Your Health

If you’re dealing with ongoing stress, it is important to pay attention to these resources.

Here on the EBS platform, we have all the resources you need to prevent the negative effects of stress:

  • Movement videos help you stay fit, strong, and active without intensely stressing your body.
  • Guided meditations to help you relax, rest, and get a good night’s sleep.
  • Health Masterclasses that offer support for specific conditions.
  • Videos explaining key health concepts and nutrition trends.
  • Meal plans, food lists, and recipes are designed to nourish your energy levels, mental well-being, hormone health, and resilience to stress.

woman preparing a meal in the kitchen

Following a holistic anti-inflammatory lifestyle like the Eat Burn Sleep approach is the best option for building resilience to stress. Our members see fantastic results with their health and feel empowered by the wealth of information available on the platform.

This is what EBS Member Mahget has to say:

I follow your EBS platform, and if anyone is undecided, jump in.

Just do it.

I read all labels now, and when you think something is too good to be true, it usually is, especially when the ingredients list ends with emulsifiers, gums, and all the things that cause inflammation. We tend to trust people in white coats or athletes, but clearly, they are being paid to support something that is not good for us.

The Eat Burn Sleep platform educates us on what is good and what is not.

Thank you, Yalda, your EBS approach is spot on.


Don’t let the negative effects of bad stress destroy your health. Explore our membership options here and discover how to create the diet and lifestyle you need to stay strong and resilient.

Find out more about the benefits of the EBS lifestyle approach in these podcast episodes and articles:

Podcast – Using Sounds to Calm Your Mind

Podcast – Unstressable

Depression, Anxiety, and Gut Health

Does Cortisol Cause Weight Gain?


With love,

Yalda x



Yalda Alaoui


Eat. Burn. Subscribe.

Join the Eat Burn Sleep email newsletter and be the first to hear about new tips, and recipes!

Continue Reading

Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat Quickly

Is AG1 Supplement Good for You?

The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self-Care Diet