What comes to your mind when you hear, read or write this word?
Most people consider stress to be bad. Many books and articles have been written about it. Much advice has been given on how to manage or overcome it. It is an unpleasant condition, which each of us try to avoid.
But stress is not necessarily your enemy.
Somewhere in the past, it helped keep mankind alive from predators. And today, your stress can help you live as well. You just need to know how to use it in a good way and not believe all the myths about it.
Here are some ways your stress can help you:
Use your body to decipher your emotions. For example, when your stomach is tight, it can be a sign of loss of control. When you have a stiff neck, it can be a signal of inflexibility. When your shoulders are tense, you may be taking on too much.
Just learn to listen to your body’s signals, and you will be able to recognize emotions responsible for your stressful conditions. When you know them, you are able to manage them.
Stress in response to an emergency helps you handle the crisis. Yes, it may sound a bit weird, but it’s true.
For example, you have to make a quick decision, to find some source of inspiration quickly or to meet a deadline. Stress is your body’s response to some danger, and that is why it can sharpen your vision, give you strength, help you focus on something and get the job done. Of course, you shouldn’t force a stressful situation every time you need to finish your project or complete your task quickly.
Look at the areas that are very stressful to you. Is this your job, your busy schedule or your relationship? Your stress can help you understand what would be best to change in your life.
Try to take a closer look at your offender. Do you take in too much? Do you set any unrealistic expectations? Or maybe you live with some limiting beliefs? Your stress is a signal of what is going wrong in your life.
When you are stressed, you start digging deep into yourself, don’t you? Your stressful condition helps you find strengths you never knew existed. When you are pushed out of your comfort zone, it seems awful at first. But you understand that it teaches you and increases your self-confidence after all.
Stress can become your motivation to find out what you are made of, and it can let you reach your true potential.
How do people behave when they are stressed? You probably noticed, that they start moving — literally. This is our built-in instinct: for example, we start exercising when we feel ourselves becoming stressed out. Moving or exercising helps you manage your stress while becoming healthier.
Your stress will not disappear all at once, but you can use it to design the life you want. Stress doesn’t seem so awful after that, does it?
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Apr 2014
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Strike, A. (2014). The Benefits of Stress. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 18, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/04/15/the-benefits-of-stress/