There are few people who don’t deal with stressful situations. But that does not mean that there is no way to put them to our advantage. Here are some techniques to help us do just that.
Excessive stress is bad for your health. It leads to excess weight, cardiovascular disease, and sleep deprivation. But we must understand that not every stress affects our body in this way.
We distinguish between negative reactions (distress) and positive reactions (eustress). And while the first kind of stress does not bode well for our health, the second can make us more efficient and stronger.
We almost always have the ability to choose which reaction to “turn on” – positive or negative. By developing a certain amount of stress tolerance, you’ll be able to handle non-standard cases more calmly. Here are some strategies for embracing stressful situations as an opportunity for positive experiences.
Don’t Be Afraid of Fear
Welcome it: if you’re in a difficult situation and you feel your heart beating faster and your palms sweating, just admit it. Accept that you’re afraid, and try to convince yourself that it’s okay to be afraid. From the physiological point of view, fear is not so bad: the released adrenaline will help you work better, with more energy and efficiency.
If you don’t try to run away from that feeling, you’ll feel more in control of the situation. So try doing things that you are afraid of, like playing live casino online Canada or parachuting. After the first time, you will understand that everything is not so scary.
Maintain Your Positive Expectations
If you’re speaking in front of a large audience, try to think positive thoughts. Imagine that your listeners are receptive and appreciative, and that you are an expert in what you are talking about. This will help you feel more confident. And sometimes, psychologists say, this technique creates positive self-fulfilling prophecies.
Soften Your Inner Voice
Don’t exacerbate your stress response with self-criticism; communicate with yourself in a positive way. Gently convince yourself that you can handle the situation, look at it as a source of interesting experiences or a way to learn something new.
Try to suppress any thoughts that you are a failure and trouble is always falling on you.
Don’t Be a Perfectionist
The pursuit of perfection can be a source of additional stress – any work not perfectly done will be perceived as a failure. Detailed techniques to help overcome perfectionism, we wrote here.
This is a simple and very accessible tool to “switch” the body’s reactions. If you breathe shallowly, taking short, sharp inhales and exhales, you are letting your body know that it is in danger. Such breathing will also be a shortcut to symptoms of anxiety, and even panic attacks. But deep, slow breathing that engages the diaphragm tells the body that you are safe. And there’s nothing like it to reduce the release of stress hormones.