Negative Stress Has No Benefits

Everyone experiences stress in their lives from time to time. Some of that stress is forced upon them and some of it they create themselves. But no matter where it originates from it is likely not good for them.

I say likely because some stress is actually positive, although it may not feel like it at the time. Some stress pushes you out of your comfort zone and drives you to take action. You would accomplish much less if there were absolutely no stress in your life. 

But the fact is that much of the stress in people’s lives is negative stress. The kind that has zero benefit. The negative stress that is piled on people by bosses, uncontrollable circumstances and the like is the toughest to deal with. But if you can think about the stress in your life with a clear head you may discover that much of the uncontrollable stress in actually controllable. 

When you continuously allow people into your life who do nothing but add stress to it then that’s on you. That’s something you can control. You only have to decide that you will.

Many times people manufacture their own stress. There are a few ways people do that. 

One is they become mind readers. Here’s a typical example. You’re in a big meeting and you see your boss leave the room with his boss. Now there’s only one thing they could be talking about out in that hallway…it must be you. You wonder what you did. You wonder if there’s any chance it’s a conversation about something you’ve done right. But you quickly decide it is not. And presto, just like that you start stressing. The amazing thing is that there are likely other people in the room stressing like you. Stop reading minds because it is highly unlikely you’re any good at it. You’re only manufacturing stress that does you no good.

The second way to manufacture stress out of thin air is to mistake feelings for facts. People, like me for instance, often mistake their feelings for reality. If you want to see how that works just watch a Hallmark movie. At some point, usually with about 20 minutes left there will be a huge misunderstanding and someone’s feelings will be hurt. The person assumes what they feel is based on facts but low and behold, with mere seconds left in the movie it’s all straightened out and two people live happily ever after. 

The problem is life isn’t a Hallmark movie. The misunderstanding often doesn’t get straightened out and the stress we manufacture has huge consequences, sometimes those consequences last a very long time. If you’re not CERTAIN about the FACTS of a situation ask for clarification. Even if you run the risk of looking stupid it’s better than being stupid by creating unnecessary stress in your life. 

And then there’s this…people turn molehills into mountains. That do that by catastrophizing. They turn every little problem into a catastrophe. Every mistake is the end of the world. Every problem becomes an insurmountable obstacle. They are doomed. This kind of manufactured stress increases day by day until the person is paralyzed into inactivity. All this because of what is essentially an over active imagination. 

You can eliminate much of the stress in your life by understanding it’s origins. A whole bunch of it likely is self-created. When you feel that happening the best thing you can do is disconnect from the situation, even if only for a few minutes. Talk a walk, call a friend. Ask for help. Or do what I do, eat some ice cream. You’ll find that to be particularly effective. 

There will be circumstances outside of your control that add stress to your life. Don’t add to it by creating more of your own. 

On a different subject… Everyone can use a “nudge” towards success. I’m trying something new on Twitter. It’s called “Super Followers.” For $5 a month, that’s 17 cents a day, people can follow a part of my Twitter stream that is for subscribers only. It features short videos of me discussing leadership topics, sales tips and ideas for better overall relationships. I’m assuming there will be far fewer Super Followers than the million or so people who regularly follow me on Twitter. That will give me the opportunity to answer questions more throughly than I can on regular Twitter. Most of the answers will come in the evening cause we all have day jobs, right? Think of it as ”mentoring on demand!”

My goal with SuperFollowers is to build a better connection, one where I can help more and have a greater impact. I’m hoping it gives me a chance to mentor to a wider audience. It’s still new, we’ll see how it works. It’s a $5 dollar investment that may be the extra “push” you need to get to where you want to be. I’d be honored to be able to help get you there. 

You can find more information by clicking the Super Follow button on my Twitter profile page IN THE TWITTER APP. Give it a try if you’re so inclined, and if you are, be sure to let me know how I’m doing and how I can be of even more help.

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