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Stress as a Good Trigger

By May 23, 2019One Comment

It is no news that we are living in stressful times, and that there are many things that can put us out of balance. There are entire industries that thrive on our need to become stress-resilient and lead peaceful, balanced lives. While all this is no news, it may come as a surprise the fact that stress can be a fuel that keeps you going even in the hardest of turmoils, and that it can make you a winner in real life.

There are contemporary authors researching the background and all circumstances that make someone succeed. They tackle the prejudices on how only the privileged have chances of achieving something bigger in life. There are cases of famous people who came from broken homes, poverty, etc. and managed to rise above. However, we rarely think about those giants and what motivated them. Even more seldom, we ask ourselves what type of hardship and stress they endured. In 2019., there are still WWII survivors who can witness the extreme conditions they were put in and the way in which they managed to survive and lived to see a very old age. Imagine that stress. There are successful professionals nowadays who came from war-torn countries and unimaginable living conditions and succeeded regardless of both material and emotional burden.

That very fact is the confirmation that sometimes stress is a factor that makes us stronger and harder to break. Essentially, stress is omni-present and as much as we try to eliminate it from our lives, it keeps coming back, or it never leaves.  We have also come across experts who researched the subject and came to the same conclusion: stress should be looked at from a different angle – it is our driving force. For example, Dr. Michael Gervais, who works with top-performing athletes, reportedly shares this opinion.

The skill we should master is the way we look at stress.  We can all agree that there is a toxic stress, which is harmful in so many ways, and cannot be justified. Thankfully, in majority of situations, this is not the case.  Some experts say that stress can keep our organism in a alert mode, which facilitates meeting our daily goals: completing the tasks that are set before us, or finishing the project on time, or being focused when needed. This kind of stress makes us responsible human beings. Maybe you have heard about the term “tolerable stress”? It is usually referred to situations which make you stronger or show you the path you should take in the future, when confronted with bigger challenges. Mastering the skill of handling stress may sound more difficult than it is.

Skills of Handling Stress

Learn to Recognize the Stress as a Warning Sign – Being present in life and paying attention to what happens around you can be demanding, having in mind dynamics of the everyday life. However, many believe that signs are everywhere, and that stress can be predicted. Once you manage to do that, you will be able to prepare yourself for stressful circumstances and you will know how to handle them.

Get to Know Yourself – What better way to handle an intruder, such as stress, than knowing yourself inside and out and being in control? This could be the tough part. We know ourselves, but there are pieces of our character that sometimes we do not want to admit, not even to ourselves. If we succeed in introspection, we will have a solid ground to walk on when stress comes along.

Find Your Piece of Heaven – Life is a battlefield, but it is also a playground. More importantly, we have obligation toward ourselves to make it funnier and cozier so we can charge our batteries and find the higher meaning.  Creativity and relaxation are excellent supplements to reality. When our minds are reset, it is easier to answer some of the crucial questions dealing with stress:

  • Am I doing something wrong? If so, what?
  • What is the reason for things not to run smoothly?
  • Is there anything I can do to change it?
  • What are the alternatives?

One Comment

  • Joseph Burns says:

    There is psychologist, Kelly McGonigal, who did a very interesting Ted Talks on, “How to make stress your friend”. She says, the harmful part of stress, is a restriction of blood vessels. But when you learn to view stress as a positive, the blood vessels do not constrict. The body response looks more like it is full of joy, causing a release of Oxytocin. Oxytocin is a neural hormone that primes you to strengthen relationships, and help your friends. It is also known as ‘the cuddle hormone’. But Oxytocin is also released as a stress response – to make you want to tell someone you are struggling. Oxytocin is also received in the heart, to strengthen, heal and protect it from the effects of stress. As you release more of this hormone by being stressed or helping others, you increase your stress resilience. Here’s a link to the Ted Talks, should anyone feel compelled to watch it.

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