“It is not stress that kill us, it is our reaction to it”
– Hans Selye
‘I’m happy because I’m stressed,’ said – no one! But what if you could use stress as a tool to achieve what you always wanted? Yes! you can use stress for success. Hans Selye (1907-1982), a Hungarian Canadian endocrinologist pioneer, classified eustress as good stress and distress as bad stress. In this post, I’m going to talk about eustress.
What is Eustress or Good Stress?
Eustress is good stress, but it doesn’t feel right. Good stress can help us grow and achieve new heights. According to Cleveland Clinic, stress is the typical reaction of our bodies to change, and you know that change can be scary. The intensity of the discomfort you feel can be more challenging to manage the more comfortable you are with your current situation.
So, it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious when you are trying something new. If your life isn’t in danger or someone trying to hurt you, that uncomfortable feeling is your body telling you that change is coming, and you need to prepare. You will be growing and even succeeding.
3 Ways to Deal with Stress for Success
1- You Can Prepare for Change to Have Success
When you are going through a change, it is essential to prepare for that shift. I have gone through a lot of changes, but I remember being particularly stressed when I was looking for a new job.
Most of the time, looking for employment can be stressful because your survival instincts turn on high immediately. Your income provides shelter and food. This is an essential need to keep you alive, and that is the reason you tend to feel more worried than excited about looking for a new job.
Finding my current day job was hard. Even though I was confident about my skills and ability to perform the job, I only had 30 minutes to show it. You see, that timeframe is unrealistic, so that put a lot of pressure on me.
But I used my stress as a tool for success. Before my interview, I researched the company to learn more about their work culture, its products, services, and problems. I also spent time reading about new trends for the role, took a free class online, and talked to some people for advice.
Preparing for the interview made me feel better, and as a result, I interviewed with confidence. I realize, every time I was prepared for interviews, I felt better about myself.
It is essential to have a good state of mind when you interview because hiring managers can perceive when you are excited or afraid. They usually want someone confident who is not scared of getting the job done.
When you prepare to face a challenge, you are more likely to succeed and overcome. Besides, you will also gain more confidence in yourself. If things don’t work out as you hoped, you learn from the experience, and that will help you to do better next time around.
2- You Can Overcome Your Fears and Have Success
In stressful situations, fear kicks in and is so dangerous because it can prevent you from challenging yourself, growing, and trying new things. Experiencing anxiety is reasonable when it protects you from danger.
Still, there is nothing dangerous about trying something new or going through change, but your brain can trick you and even hinder you from thinking clearly and understanding that change is a good thing.
I still experience fear when I start a job, meet new people, or think about the uncertain future. When I overthink this, I feel distressed. This is a normal reaction because I am focusing on fears and not opportunities. So, the key is to shift your focus to opportunities and out of worries.
It takes a lot of practice to shift focus and move forward, but the more you practice, the better you get, and the more relaxed you become with new challenges. It is essential to practice shifting your focus, so be on the lookout for those opportunities.
I was scared of writing this blog and worried about people hearing my authentic voice. I was comfortable being silent. But I did it anyway. I am still a bit afraid, but I don’t invest time thinking about it because it’s not helpful to my mission to help young women with my writing.
So instead of using my energy on being afraid, I channel my stress into positive and measurable actions. Next time you experience fear, be encouraged and remember that it is a sign that is time to step into the challenge and move forward. This is your opportunity for growth!
3- Stress Can Be Your Motivation to Learn New Things
Thinking of stress as a positive indicator of personal growth can help you to become more comfortable with some of the feelings stress generates. You must remember the reason you feel stressed is that you lack knowledge and experience about something.
Many people handle stress in different ways, but must you learn to cope with stressful situations in a way that brings positive results. It took me time to understand this as I used to dwell on the problem. This was very unproductive since it depressed me and blocked me from seeing growth opportunities.
But I learned to see new challenges as opportunities and no problems. Now, I handle stress by educating myself about the situation I have to face. By getting more knowledge, I can study possible outcomes and make informed decisions. Informed decision making can lead to better results and learning.
Through learning, I can also feel a level of control over challenges, and that helps me to stay more relaxed and focus on potential opportunities. In a blog post on Forbes, Naz Beheshti talks about the correlation between learning and relaxation, and in fact, knowledge can help you take a new perspective about a problem.
You need stress to succeed, but you have to know how to use it. Without stress, you wouldn’t be able to identify opportunities for growth, and you would remain the same individual with the same old problems. Without proper stress, you wouldn’t feel motivated to do better in life.
Good Stress vs. Bad Stress
Hans Selye did substantial research and discoveries on stress more than fifty years ago. Stress has complex physical and emotional reactions that can be difficult to identify.
The American Institute of Stress, a non-profit organization founded in 1978, published an article on how to tell the difference between good stress and bad stress.
This article can be an excellent source to help you gain more knowledge on this topic. The benefits of good stress include helping you to finish our daily job more efficiently, reaching new goals, and protecting you from danger.
However, the adverse effects of bad stress can harm your physical and mental health. They can also hinder your performance at work or school. Some harmful side effects include body aches, headaches, and trouble sleeping or staying awake.
Remember, the difference in using stress for success lies in your reaction to stressful situations. By changing your outlook and seeing new challenges as opportunities for growth and learning, you can use stress for success.
So, go ahead, my fierce ladies! Stay lifted and step into the challenge. This is your opportunity for growth.
Until next time.
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