As I tried to revisit my day with my ever gracious listening friend, it was mutually decided we’d refer to our time together that night as a melt-down party of sorts. As we munched on tortilla chips and cheese sauce, I realized that I wasn’t upset in a bad way. But I was certainly experiencing something stressful when it came right down to it. Good things were happening, yet I was definitely feeling the pressure of it all.
Looking at the hives on my arms, I got to thinking, when you have the same symptoms with good stress that you do with bad stress-how does you properly “de-stress”? And, what exactly does one do with good stress? Do you get rid of it? Or, should you?
So, always in the need to know, I grabbed my laptop to do a search for “good stress”.
Apparently a yoga instructor in New York City, when interviewed by MSNBC.com responded in this way, “You need stress to a certain degree. You just try not to let it take control of you,” she says.
Uh. Ok. Please tell that to the red welts on my legs.
She went on to say that we need to turn a stressful situation into “fierceness or fun.” That I could get into, but I still wasn’t sure just how to execute.
“Stress is a burst of energy,” said psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Tan of Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. “It’s our body telling us what we need to do.”
The research went on to say that good stress is telling us that we are in control. We are accomplishing things. For example, a deadline can be a stress that is good for us in that it drives us on to achieve.
But I wanted to know more about the good stress. Like when a man is just about to propose to the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with, or when you get that great new job or promotion. That is all good. But it’s sure stressful at the time.
The same article from MSNBC.com dated 12/06 stated, “Increasingly, researchers are probing the upside of stress. Some believe short-term boosts of it can strengthen the immune system and protect against some diseases of aging like Alzheimer’s by keeping the brain cells working at peak capacity.” Hmmmmmmmm.
So, I guess the point is not to try to live without stress, but to embrace it, work with it, then turn it around and make it work for us.
Whether it’s motivation, brain cell activity or a burst of energy, next time you feel that “good stress” happening, step back for a moment, accept it, then do what you can to channel the energy and focus on the task at hand. And remind yourself, it just might be good for you. I simply can’t stress this enough.