Let’s face it, stress is sometimes unavoidable. When you’re doing important things, it’s almost inevitable. So rather than letting work-related anxieties ruin your day, why not find some ways to reduce stress and turn it into a positive?
Here are some proven ways to turn stress into your best friend and remove its negative effects:
Find a support group
If you’re feeling stressed, don’t bottle up that anxiety alone. In fact, studies show that being able to vent to others is an incredibly efficient way to reduce stress. So don’t be afraid to call up a friend, or talk to a co-worker when you feel out of your league.
Bear in mind – relationships are a two-way street. That means you don’t want to pile on stress by venting when the team is rushing to complete a deadline, or shy away from a friend when they want to vent back.
Recognize the good effects of stress
Contrary to popular belief, stress wasn’t designed to kill us. Back in our caveman (or gal) times, stress was actually an incredibly beneficial defense mechanism that helped us escape from hungry tigers and the like.
Although long-term stress is harmful, those bursts of short-term anxiety have been proven to heighten our mental abilities and sharpness. The key to reducing stress and harnessing its positive effects is quite simple: re-frame your thinking and recognize those benefits. For instance, test takers who viewed stress as a positive performed much better than those who viewed it as a negative.
Focus on what you can control
There are plenty of reasons to have legitimate stress – but things that you have absolutely no control over aren’t part of them. I’d prefer to be a little bit taller, for example, but there isn’t really much I can do about it, and it would be an pretty unproductive to worry about it, to say the least.
By focusing your worries in a positive manner towards things you can control, you’ll be on track to reduce stress and accomplish more in life.
Do you have any tips to reduce stress, or use it in a positive way? Give me a shout-out on Twitter!
If you liked these tips, you’ll probably love my column in Inc. Magazine and my pieces on Medium.