During college I learned there are different types of stress. Specifically, I learned the difference between "eustress" and "distress". Eustress is the positive form of stress that makes you complete tasks and accomplish your goals. Distress is the negative form of stress which can be overwhelming and debilitating. Thinking about stress this way really changed the way I handled it because I recognized that stress can be a good thing. There were a lot of times in school and during my career that I felt stressed out (I had deadlines and assignments to complete), but amazing accomplishments came out of that stress. When I feel stressed I take a step back and ask myself if something positive will come out of overcoming the challenge/obstacle, and if so, it motivates me to power through.
When stress feels like it's having a negative effect on you and there is not a positive outcome, you may be in distress. I find that distress is best to talk to a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional about. Ultimately, you will have distressing times throughout your life but how you respond to the stress is important. Reaching out to people and asking for help/advice can be hard/awkward, but it can really help you!