We have all experienced stress.
Whether it is at home, at work, in our own business, stress feels an unavoidable part of our busy lives.
It’s the unavoidable part I want to focus on.
It may be that seeing stress as something we should seek to avoid is what actually heightens its negative impact.
Rather than seeing stress as something to avoid or a necessary evil there are ways in which we can look at stress as an opportunity. Stress is actually mental energy that can be harnessed.
It’s worth remembering that stress is a neuro physiological reaction to danger.
When we stress and allow that stress to have a negative impact, we become physically tense.
Blood flow is restricted to our muscles and even to our brain. Stanford University’s Kelly McGonigal refers to this process and the connection to stress headaches.
As our muscles are deprived of blood flow, we often feel tired, lethargic and may even suffer from stress-related aches and pains, not to mention lower resistance to infection, making us unwell.
Step 1: change the view and harness the stress
Let’s go back to when stress was a valuable tool to warn us of danger.
When the caveman or woman stepped out of the cave they had to determine whether that rustling in the bush was, in fact, a Sabretooth tiger.
Stress in that situation is used to protect, blood brings more glucose to muscles to prepare to fight and more oxygen to the brain for clearer thinking.
The point is that when stress presents itself, we are far more likely to be able to cope with it if we can change the view of it, in other words, we turn it from foe to friend.
Step 2: Remember Stress builds Resilience
Military training shows soldiers how to grow from stress.
Dan Pronk talks about the physical, emotional and psychological stress special forces soldiers are placed under.
The purpose of that generated stress is to build resilience, to help them to become stronger, learn, grow and to use the stress responses in a positive way.
The point here is that if you take the right mindset approach to stress then you can actually use it as a tool to grow and improve.
Next time stress rears its head, take a look at the cause and ask yourself how you can turn your approach into one of a challenge to be accepted or an opportunity to be capitalized on rather than a sign of defeat.
Step 3: Remember there is always help
No matter how diabolically stressful a situation may be it is important to remember that help is ALWAYS available.
Thinks about some of the terrible things you see on the TV news, whether its fires, riots.
Terror, in each case, as the news shows footage of people fleeing and running for their lives there is always someone running the other way, toward danger, to help!
Helping is a huge part of normal human behaviour and not just the realm of professionals, so it’s worth keeping in mind that when stress hits, reach out. That’s the benefit of a mastermind.
Remember these four things:
- Stress is normal, we all encounter it.
- Your body’s natural response to stress is actually designed to help not hinder
- Stress can actually help you to grow, learn and build resilience
- There is always someone who can help.
Links and Resources:
Why not join Metropole’s Business Accelerator Mastermind
Learn more about Mark Creedon – Business Coach to some of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs
Some of our favourite quotes from the show:
“This is just part of the journey, part of climbing the mountain. And not many people are prepared to take that climb, that makes you breathe harder and your pulse run faster.” – Michael Yardney
“Rather than when something happens, letting it ruin your whole day, somebody who’s learned how to cope with stress keeps these inconveniences in proper perspective.” – Michael Yardney
“Isolation is one of the challenges successful business people, entrepreneurs, and professionals have, but it’s one of the things that causes their stress as well.” – Michael Yardney
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