Most people think stress is a mental monster to struggle with and fight all the time. However, it is possible to turn stress into strength and achieve positive things in your life. According to UC Berkeley researchers, stress isn’t as bad as many people think. With the right attitude, you might harness it and ascend to a higher level of awareness, better behavioral pursuance, and cognitive performance.
While you shouldn’t leave stress unattended, you can harness it and turn it into your strength before it becomes a disorder. Read on to find out how you can make the most of the mentally stressful situations you may encounter day to day.
Accept Stress, Don’t Fight it All the Time
It’s not uncommon to find people stressed out during the COVID-19 pandemic due to job losses, financial difficulties, or even relationship issues. Typically, when you feel stressed for any reason, your first instinct is to try to calm down.
You might even try to lie down and get some rest. However, attempting to relax may fail to work because your body is prepared for something else—fight or flight. In the end, trying to rest may not ease your stress and could even pile more pressure on your mental state.
Why would relaxing fail to ease your stress? When you feel stressed out, your body is naturally reacting to a situation and trying to work out a solution. As such, trying to relax is the opposite of what your body wants at that particular moment.
You’re unlikely to succeed in fighting against your body’s natural response to stress. Your body isn’t ready to relax yet, so you’ll likely not fall asleep or calm down no matter how hard you try.
There’s a lot of energy involved in your natural response to stress. You can creatively harness this energy to inject some positivity into your thinking and overall mental state. Since your body isn’t ready to rest, why not use the energy to do something constructive? Fortunately, turning stress into an asset isn’t too complex to understand.
Stress is a Powerful Resource—Harness it
When you feel yourself becoming stressed about a certain situation, try putting that energy towardsa form of physical activity, such as taking a walk, jogging, or doing some stretches. You could write in your journal, play the piano, or do anything else that keeps your mind and body active. Such exercises will eventually consume the energy from your body’s stress response, which may, in turn, let you relax without a fight.
The bottom line is that stress can boil over inside you if you ignore it and force relaxation. It might escalate into a serious disorder and bring complications in your life, be it at home, school, or work. It doesn’t have to be this way–you can harness stressful situations as opportunities to create and solve important problems.
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