How can stress helps you become more productive?

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Stress can affect our day-to-day lives and can also be damaging to our health if experienced on an ongoing basis.

We all experience it in our lives in one way or another. But, it doesn’t always have to be a negative thing. What if there were a way to control and redirect our stress to help us become more productive?

Well, it turns out there might be, and it all starts with how we think about stress.

What does stress do to us?

We all handle stress differently, but chemically speaking we’re all the same. When we experience stress, our brains release a chemical called noradrenaline. When released in high or low doses, this can be bad for us. However, with just the right amount of this chemical, our brain actually communicates information between the different areas more smoothly, and it helps to build new neural pathways. So, handling your stress in an appropriate way can actually help to boost your brain power.

How to harness your stress

The first thing you need to do is change the way you think about the situation you are in. Feelings of stress are actually quite similar to those of excitement, so reframing the situation to see it as one of excitement rather than stress can help to change the way it affects you. You can use the adrenaline you are experiencing to help improve your performance rather than worsening it, just like a sportsperson or singer would do.

If you think about your stress as a way to improve yourself and the way you act rather than something that affects you badly, then you will be able to get a much better handle on it.

If you see it as something that you can’t overcome, then you never will, so start thinking more positively about your stress.

When you have a thought, a complex pattern of activity occurs in your mind. If this thought occurs repeatedly, then the pathway it takes in your brain becomes stronger, meaning you’re more likely to continue having that thought. So, if you always feel anxious and afraid in the face of stress, then this is how you are always likely to react in stressful situations.

To stop these neural pathways from strengthening, try to face these thoughts when you have them and assess where they are coming from. Then, evaluate the reality of the situation and challenge the assumptions that you have made. Once you see things with a more level head, you are likely to see that you have overreacted or made incorrect assumptions.

So, next time you start feeling these things in a stressful situation, follow the advice here and start thinking about your stress in a different way to help you become more productive.