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Stressed or stretched?

By Halls 09 May 2023

Know the difference and feel less anxious.

It's important to be aware that there are situations where being challenged and put to the test is a good thing and can help us improve ourselves. You will frequently come across these situations at uni and they are different from situations which are stressful or anxiety-inducing. Confusing the two can be easy, which will lead to necessary stress in situations you can handle, you've just got to put in that little bit more effort in.

In the video above, Gareth Hughes (a psychotherapist and the Research Lead for Student Well-being at the University of Derby) talks through the major differences. These being: 

  • Stretched is when you have to overcome a challenge which will in turn make you more resilient, you might learn a new skill that at first was really hard for you or find out more about yourself and grow as a person. So overall being stretched is a positive thing that you shouldn't feel stressed about and is a perfectly natural part of life.
  • Stressed is the opposite, you will feel no longer in control and overwhelmed by the situation. This could be for a number of reasons such as not having the necessary resources, or not having enough time to overcome the challenge. Either way, this is a negative thing which you will not benefit from. It might push you to avoid doing the thing you need to because it makes you feel anxious.