Stress is inevitable. In one way or another, you have experienced it, especially when it comes to working. Stress can feel like drowning under a sea of deadlines or a schedule that is bursting with appointments. However, without pressure, you might not accomplish as much. Stress motivates you to make decisions and changes; it is the force behind your actions. If you use “stress” to describe a negative experience, reframe your mindset to view it as a tool. You will discover a proactive use of stress rather than remaining in a reactive state of mind.
Stress is tension, both emotionally and physically. You are in control of your response to stressful stimuli. Your reaction depends on your memory of previous stressful experiences. Understanding this concept invites space to broaden your perspective. Suppose you step back from your closed-minded thinking. In that case, you may see obstacles as signals to make positive change, ideally curating a mindset that appreciates the message that stress brings, which is part of the crisitunity (crisis meets opportunity) mindset. Not all stress is debilitating; some forms of stress are beneficial. With the right amount of stress, peak performance is achievable. Rather than eliminating stress from your life, use it to your advantage to achieve more at work and advance in your career. So how can you use stress to benefit yourself and your career?
Here are some ways in which stress can help you achieve more at work:
- Stress augments problem-solving skills
Exposure to stress can develop excellent problem-solving skills and bring mental clarity amidst adversity. Repeated exposure to stress helps create a sense of control. When you are familiar with something, you have more confidence in your ability to deal with it. Rather than shutting down when faced with a severe issue, you can assess the situation and act accordingly. For example, the constant stress of heat and hammering on a metal blade, forging a sword, makes the weapon stronger. The stressful process creates flexibility and power.
- Stress increases mental capability
Stress boosts cognitive function by stimulating a chemical release in the brain. It strengthens the connection between the brain and neurons. It can improve memory, productivity, and concentration in the right amount, which all benefit you in the workplace. The more productive you are, the more work you get done and the faster you can achieve your goals.
Amending our perception of the sensation stress invokes also helps to increase our ability to react optimally. For example, athletes take the feelings of anxiety and stress and convert them into devotion to their practice. They translate the energy into focus, thereby altering the experience of stress into a positive pursuit of success.
- Stress motivates increased performance
Good stress (eustress) can motivate you to act and accomplish business goals and meet deadlines. A deadline is the motivation to get something done. The key is to view stressful situations as challenges. When you see and meet the challenge as a competition, it becomes an enjoyable experience with a foreseeable positive outcome. When you are stressed to get a project completed, you are less likely to procrastinate at work and are more likely to focus.
Seeing stress as an impassable roadblock is overwhelming and can freeze you, inhibiting our ability to escape its grip and persevere. When you feel challenged, you are perceptive and observant. You are in a state of openness to learn and succeed. Challenges have a way of bringing the best out in you. In one way or another, be confident that you will achieve success. There is no challenge you cannot overcome.
Success takes trying and experimentation. When you are kind to yourself and understand the learning process, you accept the stress and adopt a willingness to “fail” rather than maintain a victim mentality. By stepping into the offensive role you make a friend from the enemy.
- Stress boosts creativity
Stress can induce a flow state which is a heightened sense of awareness. The pressure to succeed and a determination to excel are highly motivating, especially at work. You begin to imagine and form potential ideas and outcomes and actively look for solutions. When you feel stressed, use this as a chance to accomplish and power through! Get laser-focused on your projects and use this potential boost of creativity to your advantage when creating content.
The bottom line
Rather than eliminating stress from your life, use it to your advantage to achieve more at work. Whatever the context, remember that stress is a potential ally. Many people wish stress away, allowing the tension to multiply from their resistance to it. As a result, stress can create overwhelming feelings. While you can’t escape stress, you can control your reaction to it. The best way to relieve stress is to use it for its intended purpose. Therefore, rather than suppress stress, it is best to analyze why it has risen and use the force to perform.
Spending time stressing over things you have no control over is nothing but wasted energy. While you cannot change every situation, you can change your perspective. You have control over the way you think about things. You always possess the power to change yourself. Rather than allowing work stress to consume you and negatively impact your performance, ask yourself how to use it to your advantage.
Reframing the mind to see potential wins will keep stress as a tool rather than a vice. Stress is a sensation that indicates energy is required to make a difference. It invites you to escape the victim mentality and reclaim your power of control. Stress is energy; it is a feeling that reminds you to rise to the challenge.
Several short stories about stress – The Phoenix Centre for Creative Living