Do You Handle Stress Or Does Stress Handle You?

By Ange Fonce

We all know that stress is bad for us.

It is the number one proxy killer disease today because it is the basic cause for more than 60 percent of all human illness and disease. 

You cannot argue with the facts and stress is a reality that we all experience on a daily basis... to further confuse us Dynamic Lifers having some levels of positive stress is a key ingredient to reaching peak performance... while too much of it causes illness and burnout... some of these gradients of stress are easy to self diagnose

For example... 

Being bored out of your mind and operating in your Zone of Genius or being burned out... you can tell when you are experiencing each of those extremes because it is obvious. 

What is less identifiable is when stress mounts subtly and you continually push yourself in response to the increased stress... it is not easy to tell when it is subtly affecting your performance... in fact you probably cannot tell... you miss those subtle and not so subtle signs that appear before the total burnout wakes you up to the impending danger. 

Burnout equals total shut down and nothing could be worse for your performance... your goals... your business... your relationships and your life than that.

So how can you better notice the... 

Tell Tale Signs Of Stress Impact?

Take this quick questionnaire and use the score key below to see if you are currently experiencing a level of stress that could be impacting your performance in a way you want to avoid.

Answer "yes" or "no" to the following scenarios...

1... There is something impending in your life that feels as though it is out of your control and despite continued efforts to get a desired result it is not happening like a deadline... a result... getting a client... acquiring your goal... a key relationship in your life.

2... Your typical stress relievers are not working as well as usual like talking to a friend... working out... taking a deep breath.

3... You feel less productive even though you are working longer hours

4... You are easily distracted and have to work harder to have clarity of thought for problem solving.

5... You are not as excited about things that generally excite you.

6... You feel tired and are having a hard time getting out of bed even though you are getting your usual amount of sleep.

7... You are more irritable than usual.

8... Your ability to focus is strained and your mind is thinking of 10 things at once all the time.

9... You feel guilty when you stop working because it feels like there will never be an end.

10... You are not being proactive about how you structure your day... you are constantly reacting and feel like you are juggling to get the basics done. 

What Is Your STRESS Score?

If you answered "yes" 7...10 times. 

You are stressed out... at this level your performance could be taking a hit... especially if you are accomplishing tasks in this state. 

Realizing that your stress levels are high is the first step to managing them down... figure out what you can do to change your situation or how you are operating within it before you head into burnout... which could be inevitable if you continue down this path for more than a month or two longer... at this stage I would seek out some support from a mentor... friend or performance coach that can help you rethink how you are structuring your day.

If you answered "yes" 4... 6 times.

You are potentially teetering back and forth on the edge of your performance being destructively impacted by your stress... because you are just starting to show signs of being at the level that it could destructively impact your performance... you can quickly do something now to go back into the space of constructive stress. 

Re think what is providing you with this added stress and see if you can create a new mental model around your situation... seeing something from a valid... different and constructive angle can be a powerful tool to subside stress and keep you from going off the rails into a destructive decline.

If you answered "yes" 1... 3 times. 

You are managing your stress well.... you may have had a recent stressful event or day and it has not derailed you from keeping your head in the game and having constructive stress be a tool for you to create great results and experience top performance.

Stress is something we all have to manage... the key is staying conscious about constructive stress versus destructive stress... if you are feel like something is wrong... it probably is and it may not be too late to avoid burnout. 

Rather than take that risk... pay more attention to your stress and use it as a tool... rather than a roadblock to creating great performance.

Here are 8 proven ways to minimize stress and... 

Limit Its Mental And Physical Health Effects

1... Think Optimistically and Constructively...

Studies indicate that optimism or pessimism may affect your quality of life... optimism enables you to cope better with stressful situations and more likely reducing the effects of stress on your body.

2... Change Your Emotional Response...

Managing stress does not mean eliminating stressors from your life... it means developing constructive strategies for dealing with stress to avoid destructive consequences... think about stress as your reaction to an event rather than the event itself... this makes it easier to identify healthy ways to manage stress. 

Even though you cannot control some of the stressors in your life... you can control your response to them.

3... Embrace Spirituality...

Certain tools to reduce stress are tangible and there is another tool that helps many people manage stress in their lives by embracing spirituality... exploring your spirituality can lead to a clearer life purpose and better stress management skills... even if you are an atheist... you can explore your own spirituality.

4... Protect Your Time...

How does your own behaviour contribute to your stress? 

Some people find it hard to say no to any requests made on their time and saying yes to everything comes at a price... lots more stress and less peace of mind... learn how to invest time for yourself without feeling guilty... your NO has equal power to your YES.

5... Restore Work And Personal Life Balance...

Finding work life balance in todays frantic work orientated world is no simple task... spend more time at work than at home and you miss out on a rewarding personal and relationship life.

Then again if you are facing challenges in your personal life such as caring for an aging parent or coping with marital or financial problems... concentrating on your job can be difficult.

Whether the problem is too much focus on work or too little... when your work life and personal life feel out of balance... stress plus its harmful effects is the result.

6... Learn To Meditate...

Different types of meditation techniques can calm your mind and reduce your stress... concentration meditation involves focusing your attention on one thing such as your breathing... an image you visualize or something real like“ for example... a candle flame.

7... Keep Your Cool...

Feeling a degree of stress is natural and so are setbacks in dealing with stress... if you lapse into your old ways DO NOT give up... focus on what you can do to gain control of the situation.

One easy way to help yourself keep your cool and lighten your load is to remember the four As of managing stress... avoid... alter... adapt or accept!

8... Maintain A Strong Social Network...

To help you through the stress of tough times you will need a strong social support network made up of friends... family and peers... this differs from a support group which is generally a structured meeting run by a mental health professional.

Although both groups can play an important role in times of stress a social support network is something you can develop when you are not under stress... providing the comfort of knowing that your friends are there if you need them. 

A coffee break with a friend at work... a quick chat with a neighbour... a phone call to your sister... even a visit to your spiritual group are all ways to reduce stress while fostering lasting relationships with the people close to you.

And that concludes my conversation with you for now in this article for Dynamic Lifers.

Have you any thoughts or comments you would like to share with me on what I have written?

I would love to hear from you.

Thank you and may you enjoy a Prosperous and Dynamic day!

Yours Sincerely

Intellectual Badass... noun

1... A person with a penchant for science... spirituality... creativity... books... writing... communication... fitness... women... sexing... sexuality... human relationships... psychology... physiology and any other area involving heavy use of the Intellect.

2... A bright kick arse person and glamorously Intelligent!

3... Ange is an Author... Speaker and Dynamic Peak Performance Personal Development Consultant... and Humanistic Counselling Psychologist and Sexologist... who works with those men and women who desire to personally develop themselves and their relationships to become Dynamic Lifers... creators of their own life... relationships and wealth! 

4... If you are Happy and you Know it... you are becoming a Dynamic Lifer!

To Speak to Ange and arrange a consultation for any problems you would like help with CLICK HERE

"Transformation happens when people fall in love with a different version of themselves and their future!"

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