In our era of performance and competition, everyone seems to be stressed out. The good news is that recent studies have shown that being stressed is not such a bad thing. And here’s how to take advantage of this natural mechanism to improve your performance at work
Stress often carries a negative connotation with adverse impacts on health. However, it may very well be that is it not stress that is harmful but the perception of it. “Individuals who perceived that stress affects their health and reported a large amount of stress had an increased risk of premature death”
In fact, the physiological impact of stress will not be the same according to the perception you have of it. When stress is seen as a positive element that enables you to better cope with challenges, the negative effects of stress disappear.
In stressful situations, our hearts beat faster, which isn’t such a bad thing.
However, research indicates that arterial vasoconstriction can be damaging in the long run but only when the perception of stress is negative.
When stress is perceived positively, this vasoconstriction does not occur, making the physical reaction to stress much healthier.
Re-evaluating stress is a strategy that improves the way we respond to it. This strategy consists of thinking of stress as a tool/trigger that maximises performance. This shift in perception will allow you to get rid of these negative thoughts and as a result improve your performance.
“Studies that compare professionals with amateur competitors — whether concert pianists, male rugby or female volleyball players — show that professionals feel just as much anxiety as amateurs. The difference is in how they interpret their anxiety. The amateurs view it as detrimental, while the professionals tend to view stress as energising. It gets them to focus.”
"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."