Everybody has at some time in his or her life time experienced some kind positive motivation after a good achievement in anticipation for good things to come. The same may have also in some time of his life experienced some kind negative motivation due to failure to achieve a given task or in anticipation for a negative outcome. The main aim of this paper is to critically analyze the role played by Eustress in affecting the performance of college students that is, does eustress result in positive performance among college students?
Understanding of both psychological and physiological changes and mechanisms causing and those caused by stress, either positive or negative is of paramount importance in answering this question. Eustress results in improved performance among college students.
Stress can be looked at as a response with the ability to influence the body’s internal harmony or the internal environment’s balance or in Claude Bernard’s words influence on milieu interne. The internal imbalance as a result of stress may either be beneficial or harmful to an individual. Some examples of good stress include may include but are not limited to: (1) mental exercises that are pleasant like nice music, biofeedback, nice reading, taking part in a game that is relaxing, nice companionship, meditation. (2) Nice food, sex and a nice natural sleep. (3) Nice physical exercise, for example, recreation which is very important in balancing the fatigue of the brain, swimming, jogging, golf all of help in the reduction of the mental fatigue. In simple terms, the role of Eustress is normalization of the depression, blood pressure, anxiety and body weight. By reducing all these complications, Eustress enables the body and mind to perform at their optimal levels. Eustress can be looked at as a good type of stress and it arises in circumstances or situations that an individual finds inspiring or motivating. Eustress situations are basically enjoyable are result in good health and optimal performance. That is eustress results in the optimal functioning of all body organs in the positive way. Situation like anticipating good grades in an examination, meeting the world richest man or watching a nice movie results in eustress (Seaward, 7).
According to Antoniou and Cooper (104) well being as a result of eustress can be directly be due to biochemical and hormonal changes or indirectly through the facilitating abilities and efforts meant for dealing with the existing distress. After the analysis of various sources which included studying of positive life events, anecdotal evidence, job satisfaction and laboratory experiments, their preliminary findings indicate a direct role played by Eustress on an individual’s health. Another research to establish the role played by Eustress in brings about optimal performance through coping with the existing distress those indirect benefits of eustress. In Antoniou and Cooper (104), Sales (1969) shows the association between eustress and enhancement functioning of the physiological system as opposed to the mere decrease in physiological damage.
Physiological changes and stress
Organisms are constantly exposed to situations that are stressful by the environment; for their survival, these organisms have evolved physical mechanisms for coping with these stressors. For example in emergencies, an individual’s adrenal system is activated by the nervous system to secrete the following hormones: adrenaline, noradrenaline and corticol. Hormones can be defined as chemical messengers which take messages from glands to other body cells .the endocrine system secretes different kinds of hormones directly to the blood circulatory system (Schiff and Alters, 54).
Some of these hormones play a role in the regulation of growth, body process and development. Nor epinephrine, Cortisol and epinephrine are commonly referred to as Stress hormones since they play a role in the preparation of the body for any danger (Schiff and Alters, 54)
These hormones increase the rate of heart beat, the flow of blood and the activity of the central nervous system. These stress hormones also influence certain cells of the body to release blood sugar and fats into the blood stream for their transportation into the nerve cells and active muscles where they function as a source of energy (Schiff and Alters, 57).
According to Kovach (183) the way an individual responds to a give situation is the ultimate determinant if he/ she will experience eustress or distress. For example if a given college student is faced with an examination, the way he/ she looks or anticipates the outcomes of the examination and the way the student responds to the situation will determine the level of stress experienced. For example if the student is optimistic on the outcome of the exam, he or she will have great chances of passing the exams as the positive attitude in his mind will enable the brain perform at its maximum. On the contrary, a student who has a negative attitude towards an examination and is pessimistic about the outcome of the examination is likely to fail as he/ she will be distressed. This will result in underperformance of his body organ systems from the body to the brain hence reducing his performance.
A student who looks at the fourth coming examination as a challenge and not a threat has high chances of better performance due to eustress as opposed to the one who looks at the fourth coming exams as a threat, since the latter will develop distress and hence reduce his capacity. By looking at the examination as a challenge, the individual’s body will undergo physiological changes whose end result is the improved performance of the individual’s organ system. but the for individual who looks at the fourth coming as a threat has great chances of developing distress resulting in physiological changes that incapacitate the body’s organ system. this will results in underperformance
BY understanding how to develop or illicit eustress, colleges can develop models that are meant to achieve. For example by understanding that exercises like swimming, jogging, dancing, playing football and other related physical exercises, colleges should include these co-curriculum activities in their day to day activities or learning time tables. Games like football and jogging should be made compulsory and should take place in the evenings after classes to enable the students relax and release the stresses that might have accumulated during the day’s learning activity. Other physical activities like running should be compulsory in colleges and should be practiced on daily basis.
Other activities that have been shown to result in eustress include motivational talk, watching nice movies, socializing with other friends etc. Students should be encouraged to join different social groups within the college as well as participate in motivational talks that should be organized by the college administration or student leaderships.