Everyone I talk to wants to know how to get rid of stress, eliminate it and become stress free. Pick up just about any magazine these days and you will find an article telling you how to get rid of or manage your stress.
I am here to tell you that stress is not the enemy. Stress is often what pushes us forward in life. It helps us to cram for exams, finish that project, and clean the house before company arrives. Stress helps us to win contests and races, ace that test or the job interview. Stress is often the very thing that helps us to make necessary changes in our life like leaving a bad relationship or moving on to a better job opportunity.
Stress does play an important role in our lives. With out stress our lives are dull and our performance is low. The right amount of stress however and we achieve the goals we set with stress providing a catalyst for high performance.However according to the Yerkes/Dobson Law a scientific principle developed by physiologists Robert M. Yerkes and J.D. Dodson in 1908 when stress reaches an optimal point performance decreases.
Have you ever been working on a project night and day? You seem to have bounds of energy and you push yourself to completion only to find that when the project is complete you wind up in bed with the flu or a bad cold. College students often experience this at exam time, continuing to push until the exam is over and then collapsing into bed for days.
The key is awareness. It isn’t about managing your stress or eliminating it. It is about using stress to your advantage. It’s what I refer to as being stress hardy.