eustress & distress

A few days ago I went with Dad to his storage shed on Midlothian Tnpk. to go through his old books. I was drawn to a book about stress, as I have been more in touch with how my stress affects my quality of life lately. Basically, humans are affected by two types of stress: eustress and distress.

Distress is what happens when an individual experiences anxiety, sorrow or pain. It is the pressure to get things done the right way on the first try. Distress is what manifests itself on us physically and causes people to get sick.

Eustress is defined as "normal psychological stress interpreted as being beneficial for the experiencer." In other words, this is the type of stress that you experience when you are swimming in a race or when you get married. It lifts us up to a higher place.

How is your brand's culture affected by stress? In the case of the Adcenter, distress is inevitable and encouraged. During our board member breakout session yesterday, my board member said, "get out right now if you are not willing to work your body as hard as it can go for the next ten years of your life." He is used to working for agencies with a culture of distress. I think this is an unfortunate aspect of the advertising industry. Time spent apart from work is often what allows an individual the opportunity to reinvent and regenerate.

Stress is basically good. It pushes us to work harder and achieve greater things. However, distress might not be the type of culture that you want for your brand. If this is the case, how might you transform your brand to a culture of eustress? I think the new building will help transform the Adcenter's culture from one of distress to one of eustress.

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