How to make stress your friend

You constantly hear how bad stress is for you: it damages your health, jeopardizes your relationships, and hurts your performance. While these risks are real, recent research shows that stress, when managed correctly, can actually positively impact productivity and performance. So how can you take the stress you thought was killing you and turn it into a friend? We share the best ways!

See the stress as helpful

Stress is an entirely normal biological response to a potentially dangerous situation or increased need for performance. The heart-racing and contracted blood vessel indicate that your body is preparing for a challenge -a tool to succeed! It doesn’t become as stressful once you see the stress as a benefit instead of a threat. You can then learn to recognize and more easily manage the stress so that the short-term stress gives you increased energy to productivity and performance.

Focus on what you can control

One of the most positive things you can do when faced with worry or anxiety is remember what you can affect and what you can’t. Far too many people feel bad about things they can’t change. Write two lists of what stresses you, one for what you can control and one for what you can’t. Ignore the second list and choose a concrete action to handle the first one. This will begin to solve the stress and give you the power to move you toward your goal.

Create a network of support

Knowing that you have somebody to turn to can help a lot when you feel anxious, worried, or stressed. Being surrounded by people who care about you increases the chance of dealing with a specific situation and overcoming anxiety and worry. Social relationships play an essential role in our health and well-being, so nurturing your relationships is good. Why not invite a friend to a coffee or talk to someone who can help you map the stress, provide tools and create a long-lasting plan.

Continue with:

•Think of stress as a helpful reaction rather than a cause for panic;
•Focus on the task, rather than the emotion;
•Build relationships to have people to turn to in times of stress.

Stop with:

•Assume your stress is going to last forever;
•Worry about things that are out of your control;
•Spend time with negative people.

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