Stress Mess to Success: Build a Positive Relationship with Stress.

Stress Mess to Success: Build a Positive Relationship with Stress.

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Hans Selye, the pioneering endocrinologist and researcher who put stress on the map and is best known for his theory of the General Adaptation Syndrome, once said, 'It's not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”


Do you ever feel like stress is the unwelcome guest that overstays its welcome in your life?


Stress, often perceived as a negative force, can actually be a catalyst for productivity and growth. I promise that I am not pulling your leg. In this blog part of our Word Escape series, let's explore our relationship with the word "stress" and how it shapes our thoughts, perceptions, and behaviors.


What is stress anyway?


At its core, stress refers to the body's response to external pressures or demands, whether they be physical, mental, or emotional. When we live through prolonged stress it can indeed have detrimental effects on our health and well-being. People who do not deal with stress well, end up sometimes developing serious physical issues. 


This is the thing, reframing our understanding of stress, however, can spur us into action, enhancing our productivity and performance.


Stress keeps us on our toes, pushing us to step outside our comfort zones. Well-managed stress can be the secret sauce that fuels productivity and drives us to success. To me, that's a pretty cool thought.


Nowadays I have a neutral relationship with the word stress. Stress does not terrify or paralyze me anymore. Practicing self-care and self-awareness in my life has taught me to manage stressful situations and plow through difficult periods of my life.


It's crucial to recognize that inadequate stress management or a negative-biased relationship with stress can result in significant bad consequences. Among the most prevalent are Burnout and Exhaustion: When stress persists unchecked or becomes overwhelming, it can deplete our energy reservoirs, leaving us feeling utterly drained. Constantly operating in a state of high stress can lead to physical and mental fatigue.


Another significant consequence is Anxiety: Excessive stress can provoke overwhelming feelings of anxiety, impeding our ability to concentrate and make rational choices. The persistent worry triggered by stress can perpetuate a cycle of negativity, intensifying feelings of helplessness and despair. I’m sure nobody wants to be around a Debbie Downer, and I trust nobody wants to be a Debbie Downer.


And finally, the most alarming consequence: Health Impacts: Stress that is not properly managed has been linked to many health issues, including heart disease, hypertension, and immune dysfunction. Persons who harbor a negative relationship with stress may be more vulnerable to these adverse health effects, as their bodies remain in a perpetual state of fight-or-flight. 


Let's turn the tables. Begin by wiping away any preconceived notions you may have about the word 'stress.' Take a moment to pause, inhale deeply, clear your mind, and approach this discussion with an open perspective. Allow me to share three positive perspectives on stress:


Stress Can Be Motivational: In fact, stress can act as a potent motivator, propelling us to confront challenges head-on. By utilizing this energy and reframing it as an adrenaline rush driving determination, one can see an increase in productivity and accomplishment.


Stressful Times Can Foster Resilience And Adaptability: Please, don't dismiss my claim that stress can often serve as an opportunity for growth and resilience. What we need to do is embrace adversity as a chance to learn and evolve. When we consciously try to do this, we overcome the tendency to succumb to feelings of defeat or overwhelm. This involves reframing stress as a natural part of life's journey and developing the resilience to weather any storm.



Stress Can Boost Focus and Clarity: Believe it or not, learning how to manage stress can push us to prioritize tasks and make rapid decisions. When we're under pressure, it's like our brain kicks into high gear. In tight deadlines or high-pressure situations, we can discover how to thrive under the heightened sense of alertness that stress brings.  Instead of freaking out or being paralyzed, we can use that extra edge to get stuff done more efficiently.


Here are Two Tips for Dealing with Stress and Turning it into Productivity:


Tip #1: Practice Mindfulness: Self-awareness and mindfulness have truly transformed my approach to stress. Nowadays, I prioritize mindfulness in my daily routine, which allows me to become more attuned to my thoughts and emotions during stressful moments. This practice triggers my self-care autopilot— I start paying more attention to what I eat, making sure I get enough sleep, and setting clear boundaries to avoid burning out. Mindfulness keeps me anchored in the present, preventing me from spiraling out of control and maintaining a clear perspective.


Tip #2: Break Tasks into Manageable Chunks: You've probably heard this one before. When you're dealing with big, overwhelming tasks, break them down into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Set realistic goals and figure out what needs to get done first to keep stress from overwhelming you. For me, making a to-do list helps me see what I need to tackle each day. Some folks like to tackle the big stuff first, but I prefer knocking out the quick and easy tasks first. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and keeps me motivated to stay on track. By taking things one step at a time, I turn stress into a kickstart for getting things done. It might sound crazy, but I find myself more productive when things get hectic because I make self-care and my to-do list a priority.


Stress, despite its bad rap, holds the potential to be a springboard for productivity and personal growth. It's all about changing our perspective on this powerful word and recognizing its transformative power in shaping our mindset and actions. When we embrace stress as a catalyst rather than a burden, we unlock its energy to drive us closer to our aspirations. With a cocktail of self-care, resilience, mindfulness, and savvy time management, we're not just managing stress – we're turning it into our greatest ally, fueling our journey from obstacles to opportunities and achievement. Remember, it's not the presence of stress that defines us, but rather our response to it.


PS: Do you like this blog? Please share it and check out Mon Espace+ on Petit Espace's website, our rapidly growing platform of self-care collaborators. With our community of like-minded individuals, you'll have access to a wealth of resources, support, and inspiration to help you on your journey. And don't forget to check out my corner in the Self-Help Category - Your Upward Journey: It's Easier Than You Think! with my informal guidance, you'll be well on your way to becoming the best version of yourself.


A special thanks to my amazing brother-in-law for allowing me to use one of his exclusive photographs to illustrate this blog! Luv ya Alvaro Donatti. We can start creating these beauties as well!

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