I???m in the unusual situation of being a freelance computer consultant, tech, and teacher, as well as having researched and taught stress management for over twenty-five years, and it???s all come to overlap. Stress among techies of all stripes has become frightening and I???m concerned that we may be watching a generational watershed, a tipping point with unspeakable medical and social consequences. Here???s hoping (fingers and toes crossed) that I???m wrong, along with everybody I turn to for the science and medicine of stress.
It???s possible to speak of good and bad stress, and this has some merits, but the good and bad are more matters of individual people, specific situations, and the differences between the initial phase of the stress response (and the nature and benefits of that phase, some of which you???ve covered in your listing of benefits) versus what happens if the response continues and becomes exacerbated.
You could say that although lower levels of stress can be and often are beneficial, that???s only true for the initial phase of the response, and may only apply to incidental rather than repeated or ongoing stress. Things become far more complicated, and are far more likely to shift from good to bad, as the situation progresses. What feels good, is perceived as good, may well be so, but may also be on its way to doing harm, maybe terrible harm.
For anyone sufficiently interested in stress to be willing to learn about it, I can recommend ???Why Zebras Don???t??? Get Ulcers??? by Robert Sapolsky. He???s one of those science writers who has managed to write a book so beautifully well documented as to serve as an excellent textbook, while being entertaining and fascinating all the way.
Good luck, everybody.
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