Useful Stress: Enjoying the Hidden Benefits of Tension

There are two basic kinds of stress: harmful stress, and useful stress. Almost everyone has experienced both types at some point in their lives. Harmful stress can feel overwhelming, and can interfere with our daily routines. Useful stress can help us stay energized and engaged when we take on a difficult task. The key to managing stress isn’t necessarily to try to eradicate it completely, but to learn to manage your tension so that it serves your purposes rather than distracting you from the task at hand. Using these techniques can help you transform feelings of aggravation, frustration, or helplessness into useful stress that kick your personal motor into high gear.

Different Kinds Of Stress
Excitement is a kind of stress, and when we have a large event coming up in our lives, such as a wedding, a birthday, or a major project for work or school, stress is almost always a part of the experience. Stress is a part of any big changes in lifestyle, and can be a sign that things are going well because it often accompanies a change for the better, such as a promotion or a new opportunity. There is also stress that arises when things are going badly. Stress relating to financial pressure, trouble in family life, or other negative experiences can be very upsetting. The good news is that recognizing the positive aspects of useful stress can help you ride the wave of stress hormones to success.

Stress And Attitude
A large part of how we experience stress has to do with our attitude towards stress, and towards what is causing it. This means that you can transform stress that feels bad into useful stress just by adjusting your attitude. Trying to find the positive aspects of a challenge can change the way that stress affects you. If you view stress as your body and mind’s attempt to give you extra intensity in order to equip you to deal with a problem, you can channel your feelings into productive energy. However, if you view stress as a hindrance, it will almost certainly become one. Scientific studies suggest that the most productive coping mechanism may be to learn to control and focus your tension rather than escape or diminish it, so instead of seeing tension as a problem or a failure, welcome useful stress into your life!

Trying It Out
Since a positive attitude can do a lot to change bad stress into good stress, try welcoming all stress as useful stress for a while. Give yourself a trial run of a week, or even a few days, during which you promise to embrace useful stress and make the most of the extra energy and heightened physical awareness that come hand in hand with tension. The next time you feel stress, give yourself thirty seconds to try and reframe it in a positive light before you respond. After a while, this habit will become second nature as you become increasingly capable of staying strong and excited in the face of tension.

Creating A Strong Foundation
In order to take advantage of useful stress, it is important to create a strong emotional and physical foundation. That way when stress hits, you’ll be as ready as possible to handle it and see the positive side. One of the most troubling aspects of stress is that it often carries with it a sense of helplessness. Learning to control your stress through relaxation techniques can help you to fight the feeling of being overwhelmed by stress. Through meditation, aromatherapy, exercise, and taking care of your body with a healthy diet, you can do a lot to minimize the negative effects of stress. Cultivating physical and emotional resilience during peaceful times in your week can help you welcome useful stress when it surfaces.

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