Saturday, February 19, 2011

Make Stress Work for You (Harvard Business Review)

But what if focusing on the negative impact of stress only makes it worse...? And what would happen if we reframed the way we thought about stress? ...

Stress can cause the human brain to use more of its capabilities, improve memory and intelligence, increase productivity, and even speed recovery from things like knee surgery. Research indicates that stress, even at high levels, creates greater mental toughness, deeper relationships, heightened awareness, new perspectives, a sense of mastery, a greater appreciation for life, a heightened sense of meaning, and strengthened priorities.

The findings of our study were significant: when an individual thought about stress as enhancing, instead of debilitating, they embraced the reality of their current stress level and used it to their advantage.
What?!? But stress is always bad! It's always negative! And why didn't I think of reframing the way I think of stress before? We do it will so many other areas of our lives - learn from your mistakes, anticipate the runner's high when you don't want to get out of bed, etc. - so it seems like we should have figured this out a long time ago. But it's never too late, so next time you're freaking out about having to read four scripts before you can go to bed, just remember that stress gives us superpowers.

Read the full article here.

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