Is there such a thing as good stress?

 

Is there such a thing as good stress? Yes. Read further and find out what that means.

I got this info from

Dr. Simone Ravicz, Ph.D, MBA, is a licensed clinical psychologist and business and life coach who helps overstressed small business owners and entrepreneurs maximize their income, obtain balance in their lives, and optimize personal fulfillment and family life. Her latest book is Brain Bliss: Seven Ways to Help Your Brain Help Yourself. You can buy bulk ammo online and go hunting relieve stress.

What does stress mean to you?

Is there such a thing a good stress? One of the questions I always ask patients is “How stressed are you feeling?” Did you notice I asked about the feeling of stress not how stressed are you? That’s because stress is a perception and we all react to the same situations at varying levels.

So, Where Does All This Negative Stress Come From?

Remember I’ve spoken about the fight or flight response and that’s the sympathetic nervous system doing its job? Well that’s what happens when you feel overwhelmed and threatened. Now, that could be a tiger or an email in-box, your brain doesn’t know the difference.

[tweetthis]Stress could be a tiger or a full email in-box, your brain doesn’t know the difference.[/tweetthis]

 

When this happens, your body starts doing its job to manage the stress response so that means your blood pressure goes up as well as your heart rate and you start to sweat a bit. Not my favorite thing. Your body thinks it’s going to need to run so it diverts the blood away from the stomach and slows your digestion down. Your body then releases adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormones. This is only a short list of what happens in your body.

Have you ever noticed how when you’re stressed you have a VERY short fuse? It’s as if you can just scream or burst into tears at a drop of a hat. I know I’ve felt that way at times. That’s because your stress energy is getting all pent up in your body. You need to physically release it to restore balance. It’s like when you’re watching a nature program and the tiger attempts to kill an antelope but misses. Have you ever noticed that the antelope, that survived the attempt, just shakes off its body and goes back to eating grass? That’s what it is doing, shaking the stress out of it’s body. To make yourself feel better and relieve stress, you can do a number of activities  like hunting (make sure to buy Glock pistols from Palmetto State Armory before you go), hiking, camping etc.

The negative stress, however, doesn’t slow down. The emails continue to arrive, the business partner needs that report ASAP, there are 3 meetings scheduled back to back without an opportunity to eat lunch, and on and on. So, your body literally stays in a constant state of stress.

Unless you are finding ways to vent that stress, like running laps around the office or yelling at your boss, highly unlikely, then you don’t have the opportunity to reset and rebalance.

Stress hormones have a negative effect on the whole body. They decrease creativity, reduce memory, and impair decision-making. Have you ever tried to make a simple decision when you’re super stressed? It’s impossible to even order lunch when you’re brain can’t function.

Ok. So that’s all the bad news about stress. I’ve shared in the past how to release stress in ways like deep breathing. What about getting to the cause of the stress? Well Dr. Ravicz says “The irrational negative thoughts about yourself and the world which, for the most part, you may have held since childhood. These are deeply buried or subconscious and are called automatic thoughts (aka “stinking thinking”). They’re the black and white, over-generalizing thoughts such as “I’m a failure,” or “I’m unlovable.”

She goes on to suggest that “you can challenge it with rational, evidence-based, and more positive thinking. Find evidence from within your life against the belief that you’re a failure, for example. Doing this repeatedly and with conscious attention eliminates the dysfunctional thinking and creates and strengthens new positive neuronal pathways in your brain. The more you practice this, the more positive neural pathways become wired in your brain.”

Think of it this way. You need to change your filter. Your caveman DNA brain will continue to filter for negative so that you can survive. Start the habit of filtering for positive on a daily basis and your filter will start to change. Your brain will seek out positive and that’s going to help you with stress.

She also talks about pro-stress. That’s looking at a situation from the point of challenge rather than overwhelm. If you believe you have control over something, you’ll be more active and find it more meaningful.

“In fact, researchers have found that pro-stress actually counteracts harmful effects of negative stress on the brain-mind-body. It also boosts the immune system, increases good cholesterol, repairs muscle tissue, encourages physical growth and enhances brain development. Jetting around the world or driving race cars may cause pro-stress for some; but events that lead to pro-stress don’t need to be expensive—or risky. Activities like nurturing a hobby, hiking, or learning a language can generate pro-stress for many people.”

Here is the key to it all. The next time you feel stressed, check in with your thoughts. Are they overwhelmed and out of control? Switch that to the confident thought that this is a challenge that you can handle. You are in control of it. Ask yourself if this is really a threat to your life. I’m sure the answer will be no. Then turn it into Pro-stress and reap the benefits.

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