When Good News Causes Stress

When Good News Causes Stress

Stress doesn’t discriminate but it is subjective… what causes stress for one individual may not be the case for another.

Jaime Carlo-Casellas


We all experience it. And we’re learning more everyday about how to manage it, even prevent it.

But, when it comes to understanding what actually causes stress… we’re often caught off-guard.

For instance: Why are so many good things in life so incredibly stressful?

Let’s talk about it!

Read on for 5 types of “good news” that commonly cause stress:

1. A new relationship (or relationship milestone).

Whether you’re “catching feelings” for someone new or anticipating a milestone anniversary, relationship rites of passage can be some of the most emotionally-charged– and potentially stressful– experiences in life. It’s normal to experience feelings of fear, doubt, and even regret over past choices you’ve made in your relationships. The key is to remain firmly rooted in the present, and aware of what’s happening in your relationship right now.


Cultivate gratitude for the relationship and for all it has brought to your life.  

2. A promotion or recognition.

Maybe you’ve been working for this for years. Or perhaps it feels like good news unexpectedly falling in your lap. Either way, receiving a promotion or recognition in your work can kick up a range of complex feelings, including self-doubt, fear of failure, and the dreaded “impostor syndrome”.


Check your thoughts for signs of fixed-mindset thinking. Remind yourself that you’re capable of working hard and learning new skills. 

3. A birthday.

Like anniversaries, birthdays can be complicated markers on your life’s path. While the expectation from others is usually some kind of celebration, marking the passage of another year of your life might elicit feelings of loneliness, regret, or even anxiety about the future.


Take a self-compassionate stance, forgiving yourself for any past mistakes or regrets you may have. Remind yourself, “I’m learning as I go.”

4. Retirement.

After a career of hard work, how could retirement represent anything but good news?! In reality, many adults struggle with the transition to retired living, due to financial strain, health concerns, and internal questions about their new identity as a “non-working” member of the community.


Take some time to reflect on this transition in your journey. Consider what you’d like to focus on in the next phase of your life. 

5. A vacation.

Whether it’s a quick, weekend getaway or a trip you’ve been planning for months, vacations can sometimes feel like good news… gone bad. Work-life “balance” challenges, logistical considerations, and comparison to friends and family are just a few of the factors that can dampen an otherwise joyful experience.


Plan ahead to help set yourself up for enjoyment on your trip. Focus on feeling contentment for the time you’re taking.


Looking for Support Coping with a Stressful Life Transition?

We’re pleased to announce a new group, hosted by Alejandra Aschittino-Rodriguez, LADC, Post-Master’s Fellow.

Spring can be especially challenging when you are grieving. As the weather warms and the earth begins to blossom, feelings of sadness and depression can deepen as those around you seem happier and excited to enjoy the warmer weather. Our pain can intensify as the change of season brings on memories of the people who are no longer with us or of times when we were happier.

This group at Sonder Behavioral Health and Wellness is a place to create a community to connect with, to work through grief with and to support one another along the way. The group will provide you with a safe space to better understand your unique grief and to develop coping strategies to address the psychological and social impacts grief can have in your life. The group is for anyone who has lost a loved one OR who has gone through a change in their life that has caused them to be unsure about who they are or their place in the world.

This group will run Mondays (5:30pm to 7:00pm) beginning March 9th and ending April 27th.

Space is limited. If you’re interested, please email candace@sonderwellness.com.

From Alejandra:

Hi! My name is Alejandra Aschittino-Rodriguez, and I will be running this group. I am a licensed counselor with a Master of Arts in Addiction and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Minnesota.

I have extensive education and experience in grief counseling, including working with adults, adolescents, couples, and families in a private practice setting, creating an intensive training program around grief associated with COVID-19, and participating in a research project examining the effects culture has on grief.

I am excited to walk with you in this journey.


Enjoy this post? You might also like:

5 grief myths that might surprise you
5 fast facts about grief
New to group therapy? 5 tips for beginners


Feeling stressed about some good news in your life?