Stress: Friend, or foe?
If you had the chance to live a life without stress, would you take it? A stress-free life may sound ideal. But the truth is not so simple. Stress is a natural reaction to any type of change. Even positive experiences like vacations, weddings, and promotions are common stressors that can drain us of energy and motivation.
However, not all stress is negative. There is even a word for the kind of stress that helps rather than hurts: eustress. Eustress motivates us to achieve big goals and overcome challenges. Without it, we would be bored and unenergized. We need stress to live happy, productive lives.
So how can we embrace a positive view of stress without letting it run our lives?
Give Yourself Permission To Be Stressed
A little stress can be a good thing. However, the effects of long-term stress will wear anyone down.
Recognize that even our happiest moments can drain our energy and lead to exhaustion. It’s common to say, “I feel like I need a vacation after my vacation!” It is okay to desire rest and alone time after a busy time with friends or loved ones.
Don’t feel guilty. Give yourself permission to feel stressed and don’t take it personally. From there, you can begin to heal and bounce back.
Reframe Your Stress
Consider that you’re offered a huge promotion. Do you see this as an opportunity to learn, develop new skills, and increase your earning power? Or are you rattled by fears of being underqualified and overworked?
Next time you’re faced with a potential stressor, try to view it as a “challenge” instead of a “threat.” Don’t worry about what could go wrong. Instead, focus on the ways this will help you to grow. Look for resources that will help you to conquer the task. Grab a pen and list out your hopes and intentions.
Prepare For Stress, Plan For Recovery
Life without stress would be unbearably boring. You shouldn’t avoid things just because they take energy.
But next time you have an upcoming challenge or exciting event planned (vacations included!), remember to plan time to recover. This will allow you to reflect and recharge so you’re ready to take on the next challenge life has in store.