What causes me distress?

Whole class activity 1

Ask students, do you ever feel stressed?

Ask students, can stress ever be good?

Eustress V Distress


Tell students that stress can sometimes be good for us. This is called eustress. You can write this on the board/use your interactive whiteboard, or using the image above to help you explain to students.

Tell students eustress is what happens to us when we do things that may make us feel bad in that moment, but ultimately make us feel good. This may be something like making a new friend, school tests (sometimes), going on a scary ride, etc.

Eustress usually makes you feel proud and happy after you have finished doing the thing that is challenging!

Tell students eustress is a form of good stress. Think about it as pushing yourself to a level of stress you can tolerate, and learn from.


Distress is different. Distress happens when we do things that make us feel bad in the moment, and bad later too. This may be things like doing a test, and finding out you didn't do as well as you wanted, making a new friend and finding out they said mean things about you, or seeing something you know is wrong, and also not doing anything about it.