Before I share a few practical yet powerful tools that will help you manage stress, let me share with you the two different types of stress and the roles they can play in your life. 


Eustress is actually wellness-promoting and occurs when you’re tackling challenges in the pursuit of objectives you love and are inspired by.  

Eustress is defined as “beneficial” stress,either psychological, physical (e.g., exercise), or biochemical/radiological (hormesis). The term was coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye, consisting of the Greek prefix eu- meaning “good”, and stress, literally meaning “good stress”.

Eustress is often a confirmation that you’re on track with what is most deeply meaningful and inspiring to you.


Distress, on the other hand, can be illness promoting and often occurs when you’re pursuing  or perceiving an unrealistic expectation or fantasy or attempting to live a one-sided life. 

Distress essentially means “divided stress” in that you might be looking for a positive without a negative, pleasure without pain or ease without difficulty and being smacked around by the reality of the opposite side you are trying to avoid.

Distress may also emerge when you find yourself injecting other people’s values into your life and doing what you feel you “should” do instead of what is deeply meaningful and intrinsically fulfilling to you. 

As such, it is wise to see both eustress and distress as feedback to help you become more authentic, balanced, inspired and fulfilled in your life.

So, what can you do to moderate the immediate and long-term effects of this inevitable, life-affecting feeling of distress? 

I have 7 steps that you can begin implementing today – steps I am certain can transform your stress levels in 2021 and beyond.

STEP 1: Identify your highest value based primary mission and vision – take the time to crystallize and clarify what your life demonstrates you are really committed to fulfilling.

If you are crystal clear about what you want to dedicate your energies in life to, you’ll be more inclined to take action towards your inspired goals and that you will tend to achieve more and reduce your distress levels. 

Every human being on the planet, regardless of age, gender or culture, has a set of priorities or values. These priorities can evolve and change as you grow, but at any moment in your life, you have a set of higher values that are most important to you which dictate your perceptions, decisions and actions.

Your unique set of higher values are fingerprint specific to you.

Knowing your highest values enables you to align your life’s actions with the goals and objectives that mean the most to you.

Not being aware of your highest values makes it less likely to create a meaningful life and achieve self-mastery.

If you have not yet taken the time to go on my website and take advantage of a complimentary and private, value determination process, please consider doing that.

The online Demartini Value Determination Process involves 13 questions that will help you define what you’re spontaneously inspired from within to do. In other words, what you feel intrinsically called to do, the highest priority you have in your life, what you value most. 

If you can clarify and get concise about your life’s primary mission and vision, and begin living congruently with this you are less likely to have the level of distress in life than somebody who’s wandering around aimlessly and emotionally, feeling perturbed by all the impulses and instincts of pleasures and pains that surround them, will have.

Any area of your life that you don’t empower, others are likely to overpower.

Those overpowering distractions form part of your distress because you will tend to get side-tracked or distracted instead of sticking to your highest priority at that moment. When you’re clear about what you’re intrinsically committed to, it’s easier to say no to things that aren’t a priority.

Your highest value is what you’re truly inspired from within to spontaneously act upon and fulfill. 

As such, it’s where you are likely to have the greatest fulfilment, creativity, resilience and adaptability. 

Distress emerges when you feel you are unable to adapt to an ever changing environment. 

Any time you’re attempting to NOT live by your highest priority or highest value, you tend to increase the probability of distress and distraction.

When you’re living by your highest values, on the other hand, you increase the probability of self-governance and look forward to tackling challenges that inspire you resulting in eustress.

It is for this reason that you can reduce distress in your life by clearly defining what you’re committed to, what is most deeply meaningful to you, and your primary objective or mission in life and taking high priority action toward fulfilling it daily. 

It could be raising a beautiful family, building a business, or committing to a social cause. There are no rules about what it is and no “right” answer it is simply what is truly most meaningful and important to you.

It is unwise to compare yourself to somebody else or subordinating to what they perceive your values, mission or vision “should” be.

Instead, dig deep inside to discover your intrinsic drive, what’s important that you want to dedicate your life to. Look at what your life demonstrates every day that you spontaneously do that nobody has to remind you to do and that’ll be a great idea of what your mission is in life. 

STEP 2: Live by priority

In learning to manage your stress or distress and live by priority, it is wise to ask yourself daily, “What is the highest priority action I can do today to fulfil my primary mission?”

When you live by your highest priority:

  • You activate the executive centre of your brain. 
  • You become more self-governed and disciplined.
  • You become more objective.
  • You become more resilient.
  • You become more reliable, focused, enthused, inspired, present, certain about your goals, not to mention grateful for your life.

When you choose not to live by priority:

  • Your day is likely to fill up with low priority distractions that’ll likely leave you feeling frustrated and that you’re not getting much closer to your vision and mission in life.
  • You’re also more likely to live by duty, which means subordinating to the world around you instead of designing and ruling the world around you. 

Anytime you live by your highest priorities, your self-worth goes up.

Anytime you live by your lower priorities, your self-worth goes down.

If you would love to be a leader and have more resilience and adaptability, it is essential that you prioritize your life.

If you don’t fill your day with challenges and priorities that inspire you, your day will fill up with challenges and distractions that don’t. 

When you’re prioritizing, it is wise to make sure that you’re prioritizing not only your ACTIONS but also your PERCEPTIONS. 

The way you do this is by asking, “How is whatever I am perceiving to be happening to me today helping me fulfil what’s most important to me?” If you ask that question and be accountable to answer it, you’ll tend to see how your life is ‘on the way’ and how everything is happening FOR you, not TO you. 

As a result, you are more likely to be in the flow, in tune, on time, and on target with what’s meaningful to you. You will also tend to experience less distress and ageing, and more vitality and inspiration as a result.

STEP 3: Delegate all lower priority tasks to people who are qualified and inspired to do them.

It is highly unlikely for you to live an inspired and distress-free life without delegating your lower priority actions

Anytime you perform tasks that you perceive you “have to do”, “should do”, “must do” or “are supposed to do”, you are likely to be living by duty or according to other people’s or authority’s expectations.

As a result, you tend to trap yourself in time instead of liberating yourself to do the highest priority tasks that produce the most results to make your unique difference in the world. 

I’m a firm believer that if you fill your day with the highest priority actions that you’re inspired from within to do, and delegate the rest, you can liberate yourself from a lot of distress. 

So, prioritize your life and watch what happens. I am certain that your distress levels will go down and that you won’t feel drained from a day filled with low priority tasks.

You devalue yourself every time you perform lower priority tasks.

You value yourself when you perform high priority tasks.

When you value yourself and the work you do, so does the world.

Every symptom that’s going on in your life, physiologically, psychologically, sociologically, in business and in every area of your life is feedback to guide you back to authenticity.

Your authentic self is where your highest priority and is where your mission is. That’s why it is wise to delegate everything that’s not your highest priority to people whose highest priority it is. 

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  • Dr John Demartini

    Human Behavior Specialist, Educator, Internationally Published Author and Business Consultant

    Demartini Institute

    Dr John Demartini is a human behavior specialist, a polymath, philosopher, international speaker and published author. He has recently been awarded the IAOTP Top Human Behavior Specialist of the Year as well as the IAOTP Lifetime Achievement Award.

    His work is a summation of over 299 different disciplines synthesized from the greatest minds in most fields of study today. His extensive curriculum focuses on helping purpose driven individuals master their lives so that they are able to more extensively serve humanity with their inspired vision and mission.

    To find out more visit: or search for Dr John Demartini on your favorite social, podcast or media channel.