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.
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.
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 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.