Let’s face it, with so many challenges to meet head on every day, there are going to be times when you feel out of control and let stress slip right into your head space.
But not all stress is bad stress.
I believe there are two types of stress you will encounter.
There may be more kinds according to a psychologist or psychiatrist, but for me, I think of it in terms of Negative Stress and Positive Stress.
Let’s take a look at ‘Negative Stress’ first…
This is the kind of stress you get when you begin to worry about the “what ifs“.
You know how it goes – ‘What if there’s a cyclone, and all my clients cancel their appointments?‘, or ‘What if all my staff decide to walk out on me on the same day?‘, or even ‘What if my new client doesn’t like my makeup?’
While these kinds of fears may feel valid for many people, they induce stress if you dwell on them.
These are things that you can’t do a damn thing about.
They could happen but the truth is that there’s a very high probability that they won’t happen.
And this is why this kind of stress falls squarely under the heading of Negative Stress.
Stressing over things like this is not only harmful to your sense of positivity, but it has a negative impact on your physical well-being also.
It can paralyse you like a deer in headlights, and stop you in your tracks. And for this reason, it’s the kind of stress that you can definitely do without.
So, when you find yourself stressing over things that in all likelihood will never happen, you need to have a mental conversation with yourself about the likelihood of these things actually ever occurring.
When I feel these kinds of useless, negative thoughts creeping into my brain, my conversation with myself goes something like this, “Pam, you are being silly. You’re worrying over something you know is practically guaranteed to never happen. And if it does, you can deal with it then. So stop thinking about it right now and instead think about something that’s going to be more productive“
Now the words may change a little each time, but the important thing is that I acknowledge that this is a useless worry and that to dwell on it means I’m taking time and energy away from doing something that can be more productive.
It produces unwanted and unhealthy stress that achieves less than nothing.
And the great thing is that the more often you practice this kind of positive self-talk, the better you get at it, and the quicker you turn your thoughts into something more useful to you.
Before long, you’ll be able to squash those negative, useless stressors before they take hold and ruin your day.
Now, how about that ‘Positive Stress’ I mentioned…
Well just as useless stress is brought on by focusing on things that might happen, useful stress is based on what is actually happening.
It comes from what’s going on around you right now that’s ringing alarm bells in your head to alert you to the fact that things could be better.
This is what I call Positive Stress.
Useful because you can do something about it.
These feelings of stress are telling you that you need to take some action to improve the situation before it gets out of hand.
It’s your little flag drop that says, ‘get started now if you want to win this race‘.
It’s created from your reality, and action is what will eliminate it by fixing the problem.
So the next time you feel stressed, ask yourself this question, ‘Is this Negative Stress or Positive Stress I’m feeling?‘.
If it’s Useless Stress, immediately have that mental conversation with yourself and be strong enough to change the destructive self-talk before it has a chance to take hold.
Simply let it go!
On the other hand, if it’s Positive Stress, give yourself a hearty pat on the back for being alert enough to pick up on a real, fixable problem, and turn that stressful feeling into an action plan to resolve the issue once and for all.
Before long, you’ll be able to do away with those feelings of Negative Stress and to take control.
From today forward, turn all your stress into the positive motivator it can be.
Stay happy, healthy and profitable.