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?


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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 Β 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.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 3.45.10 pmSo 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.

file2361294259955Friendships: 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.

Come and follow me here or at Twitter MiddleMe_net for latest updates.

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45 replies on “Hair Pulling Moments

  1. Love this! When I was diagnosed as mentally ill…yeah…that was stressful…but in the best way possible… finally had a direction…I finally knew exactly what the problem was. I had a chance to take control. It does not make things “easy” but it makes you feel like you are living with purpose….and in the process I have crossed paths with people I wouldn’t have given a second glance because before my diagnoses, my head was always down…I was self absorbed in the sense that I couldn’t get out of my own head and see things objectively…to me that is the difference between good and bad stress…oh and the workplace you were talking about…sounds like job heaven to me πŸ™‚ lol

    Liked by 5 people

      1. That would be tough 😦 But I think you are meant to help troubled workplaces achieve that kind of heaven…there is a huge need for that no doubt!

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  2. Great post and great writing. I believe that it’s all on attitude and how you look at things. Is the cup half empty or half full.
    If you look at a task in a negative way than it’s going to be much more difficult than if you look at it in a positive way. I believe that you should look at a task as a challenge rather than a chore. Attitude is everything!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, well said. I believe having the right attitude is the right way to start! There’s always two sides to a coin, one way is to look at it in a positive manner, the other is to dwell in negative thoughts.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. For me, stress is always inspiring. If I don’t feel any work-stress than I take that as measure to my career stagnation. It signals that I am not doing enough and not gaining anything on skill-set. And I believe that bit of stress is useful in general to make one have working towards something concrete rather than being contented and stagnated in comfort zone.

    On the contrary, I have never found solution to cope with “Loved One” stress. It is much more daunting and ever-present to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such an interesting take on stress. Certainly, there are positive sides to stress as you said – it can motivate us to be more productive and make us more focused. However, negative stress can certainly be detrimental. At a previous corporate job, I sat next to a colleague who would make sighing noises all day long in front of her computer, and this was despite everyone helping her out with things. Mind you, she was a senior staff in our department and has worked in the company for a while. All the while I was here, it was so incredibly off putting. I know it wasn’t my work but it sort of dragged me down – not just the negative emotion but each sigh was a reminder that we absolutely had targets to hit without question. Another reminder that that was a ruthless environment I worked in.

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    1. Oh… The sighing noises will get to me. I don’t like to join in when someone whine about their work constantly. I understand that sometimes all of us need to vent out our frustrations but those who kept at it like a broken record are the one whom you need to be wary of, because they can drag someone down.

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        1. Oh yes, my mother said that to me all the time and this as well “Stop sighing like an old lady, you will soon become one!” Haha! Chinese mothers….. πŸ™‚

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      1. Being negative about your work all the time is a sign that something needs to change on the job – be it your schedule or attitude to your work. The negativity could also be due to not having supportive colleagues too. Where there is a problem, there is always a solution. Being negative will only bring down the team, so thinking positive is the way to go.

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  5. A great post Kally ! Love the idea of identifying the positive and negative stress in my life. I usually deal with stress by listing down the points that are making me stressed then figuring out if I am just overthinking or, how I can work towards getting rid of that stress. I also try and pray and ask God to help me get through these tough times , as I know that He has something better planned for me ahead ! (Although it may seem untrue at the time )
    -Just noticed you have Twitter for your latest updates , will be following you on there too πŸ™‚ –

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good post, Kally! I thrive on positive stress, particularly in work situations. If I don’t have a certain degree of it, I can easily become one of the slackers. As for sharing my coping mechanisms for negative stress…I’d be happy to share if I had any. Some fine day!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved that article and need to remember it. I agree, stress at a certain degree is good and makes you work more efficient. I shall think of it that way more often when I feel stressed. Thank you Kally.

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  8. Yoga, meditation, exercise and eating healthy is how I cope. As far as what others think of me or want from me, I gave up worrying about that about 8 years ago. That alone has eliminated a lot of stress. It still sneaks up on me every now and then but it’s not a constant like it used to be. I worked in a crazy work environment where you were expected to stay late, and the later you stayed, the more engaged they thought you were. Everyday at 5 -unless I needed to finish something up- I headed for the door. People joked about it, and I laughed. One day my VP came over to my desk and told me that really admired me for taking care of myself. And I got a really plum project because she knew that I knew how to focus on priorities and get things done. That year, I got the HR award for my efforts. I’m sure everybody else was stunned. I didn’t follow the rules.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Congrats on the award!! Kudos to you for not following the herd blindly. We need to come to our senses and not just bow down to peer pressure. Nowadays, you need more than just work hard, you need to work smart too! No point that we work extra overtime if we are inefficient and unproductive in your jobs. People must have stared daggers at you when you won the award….

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I just saw it when I was reading your website ten minutes ago! Thank you for nominating me!! Please be patience with me though because I have quite a few of awards lining up to post but I’ll definitely post yours since you are so lovely to nominate me! Big hugz!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your nice words. I do feel that management and career topics should not be heavy to read in stead it should be fun, informative and inspirational. Thanks for leaving me a comment!! πŸ™‚

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