By Betty Gulko 

With the fast and ever-so-busy lifestyle we live, we are bound to have stress. Many times we can feel the signs of stress coming on. Your heart rate increases, you feel overwhelmed, and it may feel difficult to breathe. But what if I told you that you can use this stress to your advantage?

You can take your stress and use it for a purpose. It is not always a negative thing. Using stress can fuel achievement, growth, and development of skills. It may be as simple as a type of mindset shift.

Instead of letting feelings of stress take over, rather shift the negative stress state towards a more adaptive state. The idea is to use any stress that may come up to fuel and help us succeed, because we know we can’t completely eliminate stress altogether.

You can start doing this by reframing how you think about stress and trying to understand how your natural stress responses can be used to benefit you instead. Some examples of how stress can be used for good are to reduce anxiety, achieve higher scores, and procrastinate less.

When you try to lean into the stress to listen, understand, and use it to perform or succeed in your life, you will be using the stress to your advantage. This method is particularly helpful in acute stress situations.

With a healthy function of stress and anxiety it will be there to stimulate your mind to prepare for circumstances. Stress helps us grow and it pushes us; without any stress at all someone can easily become prone to boredom or a sense of lacking personal development and growth.

While using any stress to your advantage, you must, of course, make time for recovery. Sometimes, people can become addicted to the sense of accomplishments and therefore continue to put themselves in a stressful environment, career, etc. One must find ways to bring down their levels of adrenaline in order to keep a healthy balance.

Here are some examples to help:

Attach feelings to your to-do list. What are the feelings that come up with the task? What will the self-care plan be for the feelings?

Make time to address your worries. Set a designated time that you make on a daily or weekly basis to address and check in on any worries.

Take on a new hobby. Learn a new hobby or try something new. Allowing your brain to be open to new non-stressful tasks can make you feel proud and balanced.

Visualize relief. Use imagery to picture yourself relaxed and in a comfortable state of mind. It is a helpful way to restore your peace of mind.

Betty Gulko, Psy.M, is a consultant/coach who focuses on mindset + confidence and helps others GLOW UP from the inside out. As the founder of Chat with Betty podcast and the Glow Up Club, she made the leap from trauma to success by allowing herself to pivot into who she truly is, and you can do the same. For more information, visit BettyGulko.com or e-mail Hello@BettyGulko.com. Follow @BettyGulko on social media for daily doses of inspiration.

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