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1 min readStress Can Be Your Friend

by Guy Gage | September 8, 2019 | Business, Leadership, Personal Management

You and I have been misled. Sorta. We have been told that stress is bad for you, causing all kinds of problems, illnesses and disease. The research and studies over the years seem to have validated this belief. But what we didn’t know until recently is that stress is bad only for those who believe stress is bad for them.  Come to find out, those who see stressful situations as challenges to overcome don’t have the same adverse effects.

Your Mind Changes Stress

When you change your mind about stress, you change your body’s response to it. This comes from the research conducted by Dr, Kelly McGonigal, a Stanford professor and researcher. She presented her findings in this TED Talk a few years ago. We now know that when you view your bodily responses to stressful situations as preparing yourself to rise to a challenge, you engage the situation with energy.

The Experience Itself Isn’t Stressful

Before you discount this as poppycock, let’s go to an amusement park for a test. You and I are standing in line to ride the mega-roller coaster. You really love the thrill of being tossed around at high speed, twisting and winding, up and down. Me? Well I’m fearful for my life. I HATE roller coasters. I get nauseous just imagining myself there, let alone actually being on one.

In your excitement, you describe your anticipatory experience—heart pounding, fast, shallow breathing, feeling hyped and keenly alert. As you describe your symptoms, I can relate, because I feel all those same things. How can that be? You love it and I hate it! Even though our bodies react the same way, there is one difference. Your excitement also produces neurohormones that change the experience from dread to enthusiasm. Hmm.

Change Stress at Work

The same goes for your stressful situations at work. You are now in the height of being crazy busy. But if you change your mindset of the stressful situation from dread to a challenge, you will fare far better…as long as you remember that stress is your friend.

For today, look at your work as challenges to overcome. And enjoy the ride.

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