The Good (Stress), The Bad (Stress), and The Email

good stress bad stress email

When we think about ‘peace of mind’, it’s easy to think of it as just a lack of stress—but ‘lack of stress’ would actually be a horrible, life-threatening state that you shouldn’t wish on your worst enemies.

Allow me to explain.

Back when I was in junior high, my dad was my health and sex-ed teacher—why yes, it was very awkward! Thank you for asking!—and one of the things he taught us that stuck with me the most was about the two kinds of stress: distress and eustress.

Distress is what it sounds like—the thing that damsels are always getting in. It’s bad stress. When we complain that we are “completely stressed out”, it’s distress that we mean.

But there is another kind of stress: eustress, which just means “good stress”. And quite simply, eustress is what makes life worth living. Eustress is what we experience when we are faced with an exciting challenge or an interesting problem; it’s the feeling we have when we are absorbed in our work and loving every minute of it.

And it’s this feeling of satisfaction, of accomplishment, that truly brings us peace of mind. A life without eustress would be pretty bleak indeed (actually, do you have a cousin who smokes a lot of weed? It would be pretty much exactly like your cousin’s life, then).

The problem is that when we are surrounded by distress, the eustress can get drowned out. Think of eustress as a tempo in music, a rhythm that gives you purpose. Distress is the bunch of random noise that can keep us from hearing the drumbeat. We simply can’t focus on the work that allows us to experience eustress if we are overwhelmed by distressful distractions.

And in the modern workplace, one of the main culprits of distress is email. The constant stream of meaningless threads, the fear of not replying immediately, the piles of pointless email that keep burying the 30% of email you actually care about. All this noise is time-consuming and distressful.

By cutting through the clutter of unclear and unnecessary emails, Timyo lets you focus on the email that matters so that you can focus on the work that matters. This frees you up to face the eustressful challenges that are the reason we get up in the morning. Ultimately, this is the work that will allow us to enjoy a true feeling of accomplishment and achieve a real sense of peace.

So with that in mind, thank you for reading, and I hope you have a very stressful day.

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