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Thursday, August 13, 2015
How Stress Can Be Good for Your Career
There’s no shortage of stress these days at work, which is why many workers have turned to yoga, meditation, exercise and even aromatherapy to handle the pressure.
But what if we’re making a mistake by trying to look at stress as something to be conquered and suppressed in our lives? What if we thought about pressure as something that can energize and help us, instead of something to be feared?
“Pressure has really gotten a bad reputation, but pressure can be a very good thing,” says Aimee Bernstein, a psychotherapist and executive coach. “Think about it this way: A tire wouldn’t go anywhere without pressure.”
Bernstein explains that pressure arrives when we’re asked to handle more than we’re used to, but it’s how we respond that makes the biggest difference in our lives. If you look at pressure as an energy that can help you get something done, then it also will make you feel alive and joyful. On the other hand, if you don’t want to get close to pressure, you may become uncomfortable, stressed – and even ill – when it comes knocking.
Part of the problem is that the strategies we use to handle pressure, such as yoga or taking a walk outside, aren’t always possible when racing from meeting to meeting. That leaves us vulnerable to pressure building uncomfortably, instead of letting us go with the flow, she explains.
Remember to breathe. Post a “BREATHE” note to yourself on your computer monitor. Bernstein says that when we get busy we often start holding our breath or breathing very shallowly, which is enough to keep you alive but hardly adequate to maintain your energy and be able to deal with stress.
Center yourself. When under pressure, we may react by attacking others, spacing out or distracting ourselves with drugs, alcohol or even shopping. Once you start to notice you’re reacting poorly under pressure (you yell at a colleague, or stare endlessly at a tree outside your window), then you know you’ve got to get out of your own head and pay attention to your body. Try setting your phone or timer to go off every (read more here)