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HOW TO BE FRIENDS WITH STRESS

There’s no arguing stress has a bad reputation. It seems we’re blaming stress for everything from health damage to lost productivity in the workplace. Stress is something we all experience, at least from time to time, but while stress itself may be inevitable, the effects of it definitely aren’t. With practice and the right management, you can use stress to fuel motivation to become a production powerhouse.

Here’s how:

Accept stress

The first and most important step in becoming more friendly with stress is to accept it for what it is. It’s just a feeling. And it’s one that won’t last forever. Generally, we feel stressed when we’re doing something important, so stress is actually just a signal of how much we care rather than a cause for panic.

Get to know stress

Take a few moments to sit with feelings of stress, being mindful of your breathing. See if you can figure out where the stress is coming from and which worries are associated with it. Then, separate any concerns around things that aren’t in your control (no point wasting worry on them) and focus only on the things which you can do something about. This will take away overwhelm and free up your mind to move into productivity mode.

Think the best of stress

Once you’ve got to know your stress, you have a choice. You can think the worst of it and let it stand in the way of you achieving your goals, or you can recognise its positives and use it as an ally to get things done. If you decide to use your stress for good, frame it in your mind as a performance enhancer rather than an inhibitor. Athletes do this and research proves it helps us perform better.

Let stress help you

Choosing to embrace stress will unleash the motivation you need to move forward. Your focus will shift from the emotional to the practical, and your brain will think faster so you can tackle challenges more quickly and easily. Essentially your new friend, stress, will be doing exactly what it was designed to do, acting as a powerful tool to help you.

See other friends too

While stress can be a great friend, it’s important not to spend too much time with it, especially at first. If stress never seems to go away, take some time out to learn your limits and how to manage it. Like most things worth learning, it takes time but with the right practice stress could be the friend that’s at your side through all your greatest achievements in life.

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