I’m talking about dealing with stress. Last week over the radio, the presenter was proving tips over the air on how to deal with stress. A thought stuck me that the word ‘stress’ is deem as such a negative word. But do you know that stress have a positive edge to it?
There are many categories of stress pertaining to our real life: emotional stress, physical stress, mental stress just to name a few. But out if those categories, there are two kind of stress: the positive one and the negative one. Someone who heard the same radio program as me commented “How can stress be a positive one?” It can.
Positive stress are those that motivates us to push harder and achieve higher. It comes from positive attributes. Attributes that is emit naturally and not directive from a person or a group. I’ll share a positive stress story of my own.
I was hired by a huge multinational company years ago and when I went into the company, stress was all around the workplace. You must be thinking this is a bad office to work in, right? My boss was a fantastic guy so is the boss above my boss. My peers are motivated and passionate. So where did the stress came from? The stress came from witnessing everyone around me who is doing their very best in their role, no one is slacking and everyone is pushing hard, specializing in what they do best. This actually causes me stress and doubt. Doubt that I am doing as good as all my peers and stress that I need to give my all to my work, hone my skills to perfection. When I walked into the office at 8.50am, everyone is already at their desk, crunching numbers, preparing for the start of the day. I resolved to come in earlier and I did. I came in at 8.30am the next day and I see my peers are already at their desk, sorting out yesterday’s work and today’s tasks. Determined as I was, I came to work at 8am the following day, my peers were having breakfast together in the cafeteria, discussing about the tasks ahead for today.
So what’s the outcome? Surrounded with passionate people, I came early to have breakfast with them, very quickly I bond with them and immersed myself effectively into the company’s culture. Within weeks, I was able to catch up everything I was to learn and did away of any overtime hours, I need to do after work. My own target was met with breeze. Within a month, I managed to surpass the given target. Within the quarter, I manage to surpass the country’s target.
Did I once feel stress? All the time. Was I unhappy? Not even once.
No one was telling me to buck up, my boss wasn’t pushing me to work harder or get me to clock longer hours. I don’t have anyone breathing down my neck, sarcastically hinting me I was not good enough. But I was working harder and smarter than I did before in my earlier company. When things got too much, all I have to do is to lift my head from my desk and see the smiles from folks sitting around me, volunteering their help if I need it, no question asked.
Was it a great environment to work in? Yes! Because everyone is so efficient, whatever needs to be done, will get done within an appropriate timeframe. There were no excuses like ‘Oops, I forgot you needed that this morning.’ or ‘Go find somebody else for the numbers, I’m busy.’ In everyone’s mind was ‘How can I be better so I don’t let my amazing team, my wonderful peers and my supportive boss down?’
In turn for my achievements motivated by the positive stress, I was acknowledged, appreciated and rewarded.
Now the opposite of positive stress are the negative ones. I think most of you would be able to identify the source of negative stress:
– Your loved ones, parent, spouse, sibling critiquing your love life, your salary, your house…etc. Mom that complains that you never seem to settle down with a nice girl. Dad that thinks your job is a joke. Sister that boast her new pregnancy bump in every family conversation. Cousin who got married at 22 and no, she not pregnant just very much in love. Even your spouse who nags that you never chip in your share of housework.
– Workplace: Your superiors who kept telling you your figures are not high enough and rewards people because of bias not due to merits. Your peers who sneers at you if your results exceed theirs. Colleagues who gossip about you behind your back. Even that lecherous cleaner who hover around you whenever you stay back in office.
– Friendships: Your best friend who whine that you never have the time (or money) to take that Caribbean cruise with her. Your buddies seem to keep going to high-end clubs to drink every weekend. That college friend who posted in Instagram new travel photos each month she flies to a new destination with her wealthy husband who in turn, posted how much he is making on his stock broking account on his Facebook. Even that ex-colleague of yours, invited you to his housewarming party for the third time in 4 years. The cost of the items on his wish list in Amazon kept getting more expensive.
Yet these people are the ones you see everyday, you love very much, you enjoy their company tremendously however, the stress emitting out from them are negative ones because it is not within your control (maybe with the exception of your boss telling you to buck up). You can’t go out and marry the first guy on the street, make yourself pregnant and insist that he takes you to 12 countries for honeymoon and that him and you are going to migrate move to a huge mansion in London; and that your only job is to come up with new design to paint on your nails on your bi-weekly manicure appointment.
Identify the positive stress in your life and gear towards that direction for improvements and as for the negatives ones, be contented that you have your health, your head and your heart – all intact.
How do you deal with your stress? Share your secret with all of us at comments below.
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