Life Without Stress

Stress gets a bad rap.  But there is positive stress, called Eustress (yo͞oˈstres).  This is that adrenaline rush you get that helps you finish that project on time.  It is that feeling of excitement when you are in a demanding position and you meet or exceed expectations – that thrill of coming through.

Positive stress is what gives life that zing!  That oomph! It gives you the energy to jump in the game and go for it – take the bull by the horns and run with it.  Positive stress is that motivating factor that keeps you going.

Imagine not having stress.  Imagine living a life of boredom.  Even negative stress gets you out of the chair now and then and onto something else. Although stress gets a bad rap there are certainly benefits that keep you motivated, moving and achieving goals. It all comes down to your perspective or your attitude.

We have all been there. I had this experience myself just this week on my way to a meeting. I am driving along when all of a sudden the traffic ahead stops dead. Nothing but red tail lights ahead of me as far as the eye can see. Which meant that I was going to be late! Something that I really hate and I have been working on to improve. What was I going to do now? We have the unique ability of attaching meaning to things.

That means I had 2 choices, I could continue to follow that train of thought and end up a the station where I am angry, frustrate and feeling guilty because I wasn’t able to keep my word. Or I could accept the fact there some things are outside my circle of control and focus on that which I can control: my response. That led me to the question of how best to use the time I am now going to spend sitting in my car waiting for the traffic to move. That was my challenge.

The physical effects of stress (increased breathing rate, heart rate etc.) mirror identically the physical effects of courage. So when you’re feeling stress from any situation immediately re-frame it: tell yourself that your body is getting ready to do courage, it’s not feeling stress, a great example of cognitive re-framing. Researchers found that you do better when you appraise a stressful situation as a challenge, not a threat.

photo credit: Amy McTigue via photopin cc

 

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