So what’s been stressing you up recently-deadlines, work load, peer pressure, performance appraisal. In my case, I even get stressed by the fact that I have been stressing up so much lately be it about my performance, relations etc.
We have always looked at one side of the coin i.e.: How BAD is STRESSING? It can damage one’s health, jeopardize relations, hamper performance at work etc. etc. But have you ever thought about the flip side of the same coin? Is there a GOOD factor about Stress?
“No, you gotta be kidding me” is what you just said, right?
Okay, so let’s go a little deeper. What is Stress? It is the body's reaction to a change that requires a mental, emotional or physical modification, adjustment or response. So in the other way, stress factor makes us more stimulative, more focussed and more prepared to face or respond mentally or physically to a situation. Undoubtedly the fact that CHRONIC Stress affects and weakens the immunity is undeniable, but ACUTE Stress can enhance an individual’s immunity.
By now, you must have concluded that STRESS is of a paradoxical nature, and all that matters is the LEVEL of stress that one takes. The problem with many of us is that we don’t know how to balance stress with alternating rest.
One needs to change his/her perception and take a broader view at the concept of “Stressing Up”. An ACUTE Stress can improve mental strength, create greater resilience, enhance clarity, and contribute to a greater and improved sense of self-confidence, thus developing the overall individual personality.
The fact can be supported by a common everyday example. When you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. In this situation, the heart pressure increases, and a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) is released, to protect your brain from strain. The assertion is the brain fitness is positively influenced and enhanced through mental and physical exercises that increase levels Neurotrophins.
This BDNF acts as a shielding and repairing agent to our memory neurons and retunes your body. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and eventually happy.
To sum up, there is a lot going on inside our brain and it is way more active after a physical/mental work-out rather than in an idle stage of relaxation.
The basic principle is the harder you try and make efforts, the more you mould your mind and body to strengthen and grow.
5 Tips To Use Stress For Your Good
So how can you USE STRESS for your good? The following are some key steps that will help you manage your stress and change your perception about it:
- Identify the worry
Calm down, free yourself of all the work, sit down and think. Is something troubling you? What is it that’s straining you mentally? Think and list down all the related factors. The worry, is just a feeling, you need to identify the root cause that has been giving you this feeling.
- Reframe the stress element
Once you have identified the Stress Element, try and picture it differently. The change in perception can only help in reframing. Instead of imagining it to be a threat, view it as a challenge. A negative, fearful mind will never be able to see the positive or the stable side of the situation. Change the dimensions of your STRESS parameters and the reframing will be done on its own.
- Focus on the controllable factors
Once the reframing is done, make a list of the factors that are under your control and are manageable, in other words those factors which will be affected by the action you take. Then decide the course of action that you can take for each element of the stress. It’s more like planning and strategizing for your piece of stress.
- Build a support system
It’s like creating supportive emotional relations as your back-up when you are emotionally or psychologically weak. This is not a sequential step to follow, but having that confidence that someone is there somewhere to hold your back when you are in trouble gives you the inner strength to face the crisis.
- Action and Implementation
This is the action oriented stage, where the course of action that you have decided needs to be implemented. There is going to be a pressure and fear, but it sometimes does well to you. You anyways have to face that piece of stress and situation, but a planned strategy always gets you in a better position rather than ending up blank.
A Stress Reaction can act as a constructive tool to enhance focus and preserve ability to progress through times of uncertainty. So it’s up to you to perceive it as a nerve-racking threat or view it is as a just another challenge.
Hi! I have completed my MBA with dual specialization in Human Resource and International Business. Presently I am looking after my own start-up venture which is basically a manufacturing firm. My keen interest in the HR domain has motivated me to write a few papers that have been published in newspapers and a journals. You can contact me via LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=50538242&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile