Good stress, also known as ‘eustress’, refers to stress that is seen as beneficial to health, motivation, performance and wellbeing. This can be seen in some young people who may still see exams as stressful and a difficult time, but the stress motivates them to revise and work hard, allowing them to perform at a higher standard. This sort of stress can be well within some young people’s coping abilities, despite how it may feel at the time. Stress in relation to exams is not always bad and may in fact be a push to help them best perform.
Bad stress is known as ‘distress’ and this refers to when someone experiences feelings of anxiety, mental suffering, affliction, or it has negative implications. This can come about because a young person is feeling low levels of pressure, they may not have a goal in order and they’re thinking “what’s the point?” or on the flip side, they’ve faced too high a level of stress and are now at a stage of burnout.