Updated: Oct 11, 2022
Think you know about stress? Well, most people know less than they realize and some of what they know is false.
Eliminating these false beliefs about stress is the most important thing you can do. Learn how you can have less stress and be more resistant to the negative effects of stress.
ORIGINS OF STRESS
Stress has been part of the human existence since the beginning of time. Stress is simply a reaction to something. Sometimes that reaction is pleasant, such as when you work harder to beat your competition or when you focus on doing your best.
Sometimes that reaction is unpleasant, such as when you feel overwhelmed, unable to think straight, or want to avoid the situation. Since you always experience events in life, stress will always be a part of your human experience.
SO, TRUE OF FALSE?
This is a tricky question because in some ways stress is bad and in other ways stress is good. Most people believe that stress is bad. This belief keeps people from lowering their stress to the lowest level possible.
Too much stress is bad but so is not enough stress.
If we look at what stress has done for us as a human race, you’ll see that stress has been the motivation behind all of our achievements, whether from our unconscious need for more or from our conscious desire for less.
We’re not satisfied with our car if someone else has a better car. We’re not satisfied with our homes if someone else has a better home.
Mothers compete over who has the “better” (sometimes “worse”) kid. Men compete over who makes more money or who is with the most attractive woman.
Commercials bombard us with messages regarding which food or product will fill that space in us and finally make us feel happy with our lives.
But not enough stress in our lives creates boredom. Without enough stress in our lives, we lose the motivation to do better, to be better, to do more… and to have more.
Stress is a reaction to a stimulus. What do you call someone who no longer reacts to a stimulus? Dead. As humans, we can’t tolerate too little stress without losing the feeling of being alive.
The biggest example of this tug of war between unconsciously increasing our stress while consciously trying to reduce our stress is all of the technological improvements in our lives.
We have washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, cars, cell phones, indoor plumbing and heating, computers/laptops/tablets, email, the cloud, etc. All of these technological advances are supposed to make our lives easier.
How many of you feel like you have an easy life?
SO, STRESS IS GOOD?
If you focus on understanding this belief more than you focus on eliminating stress, you will do more to improve your life than you can ever imagine.
As long as you continue to believe that stress is bad, you’ll continue to focus on eliminating stress from your life and miss all of the positive aspects of stress.
The key is to have just enough stress in your life to keep you focused and motivated but not so much that you feel overwhelmed and unable to function.
Stress has its silver lining. If you change your belief from “stress is bad” to “stress has a silver lining” you will learn to use stress to your advantage.
By adopting this new belief, you’ll be more resistant to the negative effects of stress because you’ll be working with the positive side of stress.
Humans have used stress to fuel the advancement of society and it’s what companies do to propel themselves as the leaders in their industry. You can use the same belief to create a life you love as well.