Looking back at the actions of the stress response and the effects of noradrenaline and adrenaline, it is clear to see how stress affects performance. Noradrenaline increases alertness, improves concentration, mental ability, learning and decision making and it makes us feel good. Adrenaline has none of these benefits and makes us feel awful. It can make us forget things more easily, reduce concentration and decision-making ability.
Being in the eustress zone means having a predominance of noradrenaline activity. But do not be alarmed after having read about how noradrenaline can lead to ill health and death! Being in the eustress zone means activating the stress response by just the right amount so that you feel confident in dealing with your demands and challenges. The amount of noradrenaline released in the body to achieve this is not harmful. It is only when excessive amounts of noradrenaline are released that harm may arise. This can occur when too much eustress is experienced. Too many eustressful demands can overtax the body in a similar way to many distressful demands. You can have too much of a good thing!‚