A Guide To Embracing Stress
Stress is harmful, and if left unchecked, it can lead to illness. But not all stress is bad for you. Challenges that make your heart race can bring euphoria when you overcome it, so instead of turning to drink, falling into depression, or binge-eating, why not change your mindset?
Try embracing stress rather than fighting it, and your mental health will improve, leaving you more energetic and more resilient. After all, stress is a normal reaction to change, and it enables us to grow. Here is a list of ways to benefit from the stress in your life:
See The Upside of Stress
Kelly McGonigal, author of “The Upside of Stress,” tells us that embracing stress will make us stronger, happier, and smarter. Changing how we think about stress can lessen the harmful impacts and how we respond to it.
By viewing stress as harmful, people tend to use less helpful ways like procrastinating or over-eating to deal with it, while embracing it gives you greater cognitive flexibility - you don’t feel overwhelmed or helpless.
We are often harder on ourselves, so learn to treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion as you would someone else in a similar situation.
In this way, the negative effects of stress, such as fear of failure and anxiety, will be reduced. Self-compassion enhances a person’s ability to deal with stress.
There is evidence that suggests talking to yourself in the third person is a good thing. Positive “self-talk,” as psychologists refer to it, is an effective way of helping oneself when facing a challenge.
You give yourself greater control and perspective in dealing with the situation by addressing yourself in the third person.
Sign That Your Life is Meaningful
In a 2013 survey, a researcher concluded that people who have meaningful lives worry more than people with less meaningful ones. Therefore, feeling stressed is a barometer of how meaningful your life is and not an indication that something is wrong.
Stress Is An Opportunity To Learn
Your brain rewires itself to remember and learn from stressful experiences. The imprint that stress leaves on your brain allows you to cope when faced with a similar situation.
Psychologists call this process stress inoculation. So the next time you find yourself stressed out, consider it a vaccination against future stressors.