Are feelings of stress always a bad thing? Not according to psychologists and counsellors, who are increasingly distinguishing between positive and negative stress and the impact each has on our activities and health.
Positive stress is now often referred to as Eustress. It can give an extra burst of adrenaline to help with meeting goals and deadlines, as well as encouraging mental alertness, motivation, and efficiency. Examples of people who use Eustress are athletes performing in big competitions or speakers facing a large audience.
Negative stress, however, or Distress, means that even when the sources of stress are removed the body cannot return to a relaxed state.
So it is important to try to view stress as a positive spur to action, and this is particularly true for the business leader or owner, facing new challenges or a business that is struggling.
Emotional signs of distress include persistent hostile or angry feelings, increased frustration with minor annoyances, nervousness, lack of concentration, anxiety, and depression.
None of these is good for the business owner faced with a difficult situation that must be resolved but there are ways to reframe negative stress and use it as a positive. Looking for the opportunity within the situation is one technique as is focusing on what can be controlled.
It also helps to have a network of support, particularly because even just talking to someone can help get things in perspective and reduce problems to a manageable level.
It’s all about perspective. Think of stress as an indication that you actually care about something. Normally it is something that won’t last forever. It’s all about accentuating the positive.
(pic courtesy of Forbes.com)