5 Ways Of Using Eustress To Motivate Your Team

Work is never easy, is it? From the mundane tasks, we have to complete to the high-pressure environment we work in, stress is always a factor that invites itself. Even hearing the word stress makes us stressed! But – is there more to stress than mere annoyance? In this blog, we will uncover a different side of stress. Managers looking for ways to motivate their teams y impacts need to get ready with a notepad and pen for the tips to follow.

What Is Eustress?

The dictionary defines eustress as a positive form of stress that benefits health, motivation, performance, and emotional well-being. Sounds good, right? Let’s uncover more.

When we typically talk about stress, we actually refer to distress, which is the negative form of stress that negatively impacts overall well-being and productivity. Eustress, on the other hand, has positive effects. It makes us look forward to learning, doing, and stepping out of our comfort zones. This form of stress generally does not last very long. It is exciting and motivational, making it an appropriate tool for managers and leaders dealing with disengaged teams.

In order to effectively use eustress, you will need to differentiate it from distress first. Some symptoms of eustress can be similar to those of distress, like nervousness and heart beating fast. The difference comes in the feelings that accompany these sensations. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and out of sorts due to fear, eustress will make you excited and anticipate upcoming events.

Impact of Eustress

Now that we are sure what eustress looks like, let’s see what it can do for you. It can have many significant effects on your team members, such as:

  • Build a healthy competitive spirit
  • Have a positive outlook for challenges and novelty
  • Facilitate the attitude of continuous learning
  • Reduces resistance to changes
  • Promotes growth and achievement

Examples of Eustress

Eustress is a type of stress that is positive in nature. A few examples will help you understand and identify it better. This is what eustress in the workplace can look like –

Getting a new assignment

That feeling of excitement that sweeps in when you are about to embark on a new journey. The anticipation of new events and hoping for excellence – that is eustress summed up. It makes you look forward to new developments and contribute more to get the best results.

Learning advanced skills

Learning new skills and unique techniques in the workplace is also an exciting prospect for employees. They can become the first ones to master them and solve problems others have not yet dealt with.

Getting new roles or responsibilities

Employees often feel eustress when they are charged with a new role or responsibilities that are sure to give them novel experiences. Promotions are welcomed with a jittery mix of anticipation and excitement. Things like job enrichment and location transfers can also create positive stress among your people.

Overcoming challenges

Problems that offer employees the right amount of challenge and control are an excellent opportunity for them. The learning experience and feeling of achievement create a positive impact, and they look forward to doing more for the team.

How should managers use eustress as a motivational tool?

Using stress to motivate employees sounds ironic, but research has shown how managers can help challenge employees to attain individual goals and personal development! Smart managers use the Yerkes-Dodson Law with their employees and help them reach the optimal zone of stress that enables the flow state. Here are a few ways to integrate eustress into your team’s approach to productivity enhancement.

Set Exciting Challenges

Challenging employees to achieve targets and exceed expectations can help improve performance. It is done by setting achievable yet challenging goals, providing feedback on progress, and occasionally increasing the difficulty of tasks. It is known that setting high standards can promote efficiency. However, it is crucial to take care that chronic stress can also lead to many adverse effects.

Maintain Competitive Standards

Setting high standards will push the employees to achieve more. In this process, they will encounter challenges and opportunities that provide positive stress. Although it is vital to maintain high standards in order to motivate employees. However, managers should not do this at the expense of their safety or health. Employees must understand the consequences of exceeding their limits and be given adequate time to prepare for challenges.

Make Learning A Habit

Providing opportunities for employees to learn and grow is another way to create an environment of eustress. This could involve offering training, assigning complex tasks, or developing new skills. In this way, the employees are constantly being pushed outside their comfort zone to develop better skills and increase their knowledge as a whole. Managers can take up the roles of coaches and mentors to avoid distress and instead provide a wholesome learning experience.

Add Exploration To Your Schedule

Creating an environment of eustress for employees means providing them with opportunities to explore and innovate. Managers and leaders can do this by giving them the freedom to try new things, setting high standards, and letting them take risks. It’s vital that they feel comfortable taking risks to learn and grow. It is also important that they are pushed outside their comfort zone. In this journey, they will get new and exciting experiences. This environment allows employees to do more without feeling forced to do so.

Build Ownership In Your Team

The sense of achievement after accomplishing a much-awaited goal is the best part of eustress. Therefore, cultivating an attitude of ownership will go a long way in motivating your team. When people become accountable, they are attached to every outcome and progress in a particular task. This continuous journey and involvement create positive stress inside them.

Transforming distress into eustress

The common concern among managers is the risks that stress can bring to a team. The negative repercussions are highlighted well and often. Effective stress management is a crucial initial step. Creating eustress instead of distress can be one of your stress reduction and management methods. Beyond that, you can try to convert distress into eustress to minimize its detrimental impact.

  • Have a positive view of challenges
  • Be open to learning and new ideas
  • Seek opportunities, don’t handle burdens
  • Develop a growth mindset
  • See how you can get the best out of a difficult situation
  • Focus on the positives in the outcomes
Helping your employees change their mindset toward challenges is the key to this process. Overall, using eustress as a motivational tool in your team can be successful if done correctly!


Stress often earns a negative connotation. But, putting a positive lens helps us look at the good parts. It can be tough to keep your team motivated during the busiest times of the year. From new projects to deadlines, there’s always something to stress about. However, using eustress in the right way can help to motivate your team and get them through the tough times. In this blog, we’ve outlined five ways to use eustress to motivate your team. We’ve got you and your team covered to get through all challenges!

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