This chapter explains the difference between stress and distress and discusses some strategies for reducing distress or turning negative distress into positive stress. Stress and distress begin with a stressor which can be a major life event or a minor irritation of everyday living. The secondary appraisal stage determines whether the stressor leads to positive stress and constructive behavior or to negative stress and destructive behavior. The Yerkes-Dodson law states that performance will increase as arousal, or pressure to perform well, increases, but the best performance comes when arousal is optimum rather than maximum. Understanding the multiple causes of conflict, frustration, overload, boredom, and other potential stressors in people lives can sometimes lead to effective coping mechanisms. Certain personality characteristics make some people more resistant to distress. Individuals who believe they control their own destinies and generally expect the best from life are, in fact, more likely to gain control of their stressors and experience positive stress rather than distress.