Sometimes, even though we strive to do the best that we can to get to the top, grab that bonus, or achieve that promotion, we just have other important events coming up, family matters to attend to, and personal situations that need our time. No matter how much we have convinced ourselves that we are strong and resilient to negativity, the stress just gets the best of us. “To shift to a more positive mindset and help you be more productive, psychologist Emma Seppälä recommends replacing your belief in strengths with belief in your efforts and replacing self-criticism with self-compassion.
But please don’t go berserk if and when this happens to you, because almost all studies have proven that stress is inevitable, but the effects that it can have on us aren’t. There are always ways that we can practice so that we don’t see stress as a threat but as, a challenge that can only help us become better, if not the best, version of ourselves. According to Diane Roberts Stoler Ed.D., “There is extensive research on how stress affects your ability to attend, concentrate, store and retrieve information.”
• Understand The Stress You Are In. If you are stressed because you’re about to be interviewed for a job, think about the opportunities for career advancement. If you’re anxious about a presentation, think about how the experience will help you improve in terms of interpersonal skills. Don’t think about how stressful the activity is but also include its purpose and its positive outcomes.
• Don’t Overwork The Brain. Studies suggest that when the brain is loaded with too much information, it becomes difficult for it to see the positive aspects, so don’t overwork it. For example, after you’ve showered, eaten, and dressed for work, you then get into your car to go to your office. Don’t turn on the radio yet. Or if you can’t resist listening to music in the car, just put it on low volume, so your brain won’t get ‘shocked’ with the quiet environment it was in while you were getting ready. Think of your brain if you want to see more of the positives in your life.
• Get Enough Sleep And Don’t Starve Yourself. A popular acronym for four barriers to success is HALT: hungry, angry, lonely, tired. When you don’t get the sleep that you need, you lose the energy to get up and be excited to work efficiently. If you starve yourself, your sugar levels will drop, causing your mood to go haywire as well. So try to get a goodnight’s rest, eat when you’re hungry, don’t panic, and do talk to someone when you feel lonely or depressed. All these will go a long way to combatting stress negativity. According to Michael J Breus Ph.D., “Managing stress and ensuring a routine of plentiful, high-quality sleep are critical to protecting your health.”
• Project Success. When you’re up against a challenge in life, don’t think about how difficult it’s going to be. Think of it as another opportunity to achieve success, just as you did when you have succeeded so many times in your life. Remember that pessimism is a surefire way to be closer to failure.
• Don’t Start With Zero. Experts suggest that for the brain to be stimulated to do things enthusiastically, you train it to recognize the progress you’ve done so far. For example, you have so much to do today that you don’t know how or where to start. But you’ve eaten your breakfast, dressed up, and have already made a few phone calls, so that’s progress for the day, right? Jot that down. This somehow speeds your brain up, and you are encouraged to accomplish the rest of your goals.
Stress is not something that we should be afraid of but a challenge to be faced with resilience, positivity, patience, and some of these effective strategies that you learn to live by. With these weapons, you can be sure to achieve productivity if you want to, when you want to!