How to make stress work for you

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When your to-do list is miles long and you feel like you have too much on your plate, saying “I’m stressed” comes pretty easily doesn’t it? However, maybe so easy that it has earned a bad rap, but Karyn Ross explained that it doesn’t have to be that way!

She explained how you can make stress work for you instead of against you. Karyn reminded us that not all stress is created equal. Negative stress, or distress, is what wears down your immunity and poses a health risk. It can also impair your performance and productivity. If your mind has ever gone blank from test anxiety, or you’ve choked in a tennis match, you’ve been sabotaged by distress.

On the other hand there is positive stress. Good stress, or eustress, can actually feel invigorating and make you stronger and more productive… but who decides what a eustress or distressful situation is? Karyn gave us the simple answer, it’s you!

Some people may thrive on stress, looking forward to challenging projects, deadlines and risk. They don’t mind feeling a sense of urgency. In fact, they welcome it. The good news is that YOU have a lot of control over whether a particular stressor is positive or negative. Often, the difference between bad and good stress is simply a matter of “how you perceive” a situation. And if you perceive it positively, stress can give you the energy and alertness to perform at a high level.

Karyn suggests the following for turning perceived negative stress into positive stress:

  1. Don’t be afraid of fear… welcome it
  2. Maintain a positive expectation
  3. Talk to yourself positively in the midst of challenge
    • “I can do this.”
    • “I got this.”
    • “What can I learn from this?”
  4. Reject perfectionism and re-interpret failure
  5. Befriend your breath…… Just breathe!
    • Don’t under estimate the calming power of a deep breath

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