How To Use Stress To Your Advantage

This week’s external resource is from a favorite author/researcher: Heidi Grant Halvorson. A link to her interesting and useful article is below – after I blather on a bit:

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So many people believe that 1) they are too stressed and 2) that stress is bad for you. They are right and wrong, sort of…

They are right in that they are, in practical terms, overly stressed. They are wrong – in a qualified way – that stress is bad.

In practice, the problem people have with stress is that they misunderstand it and they mis-use it.

Stressors are – by and large – opportunities for growth, in two important ways:

1) when something occurs that is “stressful” it is an opportunity to examine the event/obligation/stimulus and it’s presence in your life. If it’s debilitating or unnecessary, find a way to eliminate it, or the possibility of it from your life. At the very least, take real (effective) steps to reduce its likelihood to near zero.

2) stress can be an opportunity to grow strong, wiser and develop skills and talents. Like lifting weights, or practicing yoga or meditating, we need to work a muscle – of whatever sort – to make it stronger.

So, to recap my thoughts before I give you the link: if something stresses you out, either eliminate it or work with it.

Some stress is okay.

No stress is not okay.

Heavy, chronic, stress is debilitating.

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Here’s the Halvorson article.

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