Is anxiety, tension and stress good for us?

Can tension and stress be good for us?

This seems counter-intuitive at first. The trick is to change the way we view stress and tension. Let’s face it, no matter how good our lives become there will always be stress. It will happen to the best of us. So we can’t avoid it so we may as well learn to live with it.

Change our attitude to stress

If we can view the troubles of life as learning opportunities then we’re half way there.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying if something drastic happens like a death of a loved one we just say, “Great what can I learn from this?” Although further in time we will learn from the really painful things in life but that will happen organically.

If we look at areas that may cause us stress and anxiety such as careers, health and relationships. In my life I’ve let things get on top of me which leads to anxiety and worry. It still does. But I am getting better at trying to see what I can do about it.

This is the key.

Be honest with yourself. You can have a job you hate, hate the relationship you are in and hate your body and fitness levels. This leads to stress, anxiety and depression.

What next?

Well we can use the emotions to make a change. If we can use the situation to make changes in our lives we can then view stress as a good thing. We can then (possibly) view stress as our friend. Stress as a friend – can’t believe I just wrote that! So be comfortable with it and realise that the emotion is telling you something. So if you don’t like your body go to the gym, run or whatever appeals to you. Read up on nutrition start to eat clean. Do it step by step. In a bad relationship talk about it, and decide what you want. In a career you don’t like then look for another job, go to college or university if you have to. The choices are endless. This is not rocket science. But for so many people it is easier to moan than take action. I’ve been there, but I’ve also took action to change my life and situation.

The other option…

Stress is nasty so ignore it.

Bad day at work in a job you hate, well it’s obvious go and get drunk, that will solve it. For a few hours! Feeling fat and unhealthy? May as well get a pizza and chips then as what’s the point, “I’m fat anyway!” In a bad relationship? Well everyone is the same so may as well do nothing about it.

These are good tactics to avoid stress momentarily. But this leads to a cycle of more and more stress. In fact I’ll bet that some people who do the second option and avoid the stress signals don’t even know they are doing it.

The point is don’t ignore stress, use it to make changes.

It doesn’t always have to be so dramatic and issue. You could be having problems in work and you need more training. But you need to take action and ask for it. You might be overweight but need some help getting started so join a running club. You might have relationship problems but just need to communicate better.

How to use tension and anxiety?

Next time you feel tension or stress say, “What can I do about this?” There will normally be something you can do. Even if it means being patient and planning how you will improve the situation. Start with the small things. Look at it like a challenge.

Oh and this means you are talking responsibility for your life. Which is a good thing as problems normally start from ourselves anyway, not every time. But the way we react is a choice we make.

So for the next week keep a track of all the stress we complain about and ask the question – “what can I do about this? “.

Meditation is selfish

Meditation has been criticised for being a solitary selfish discipline.

I agree it is selfish.

Sometimes being selfish is a good thing. Think about it. Who else keeps you fit? Helps you eat the right food? Helps you make decisions (good or bad)?

Only one person – you.

The choices we make shape our lives and our future. We need to remind ourselves that we have the power to change for good or bad. We often beat ourselves up for the bad choices we make in regarding our career, relationships and health. We need to focus more on the positive choices we make, and learn from mistakes without dwelling on the past.

Back to meditation.

By meditating we learn to calm the mind and not react. This is one skill I’ve yet to master! However the learning process is part of the challenge, the fun and the reward. This work is selfish yet good for you and others. Why? Well they don’t tell you to look after yourself first when taking off on a plane for nothing. You’d be useless to your family and friends if you couldn’t breathe on a plane in an emergency. By looking after ourselves first we can then pass on the goodness to others. Remember calm is contagious #Tools of Titans Tim Ferriss. Likewise stress spreads like wild fire.
Do you ever want to help someone when you’re stressed, angry or worried? Not normally, and I’m guilty of snarling at times – sorry.

So don’t feel guilty about being selfish.

Take the time to meditate and chill for the greater good.

Beat anxiety like a boxer


black and white picture of boxer winning anxiety fight

Never let a bad experience go to waste!

Use it don’t lose it. There are far too many “bad” past experiences that can help us when times get tough. This is not some self-help bullshit but “facts” as Rafa once said, but we won’t go into that right now!

What are these “facts”?

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We can change at any moment take action to defeat anxiety!

every moment is inspiration

Patience and confidence

When anxiety gets a grip of us it seems like it’s never ending. When bad days occur we feel like this is the way it’s always going to be.

What do we need in these times?

Patience and confidence.

The patience to to understand that things in life won’t last forever. And the confidence to believe that good things can be around the corner. This links to my last post about Conor McGregor and how easy it is to think positive in the good times. This is where we show are character and experience. Let’s face it all good intentions go out the window when we feel anxious and worried.

Like Mike Tyson said,  “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face!”
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Positive from a negative use anxiety to win or learn!

Never lose hope be positive

Stress tests my positive mental attitude!

The last few weeks have tested my positivity and made me question myself. I can see by looking back on the early posts that I wrote them in a positive frame of mind and being honest it’s far easier than right now.

Nothing too bad has happened but my anxiety has risen greatly over the last week.


The usual things that crop up in life and in work.

It brings to mind a quote I heard from Conor McGregor about the law of attraction and how you need to act like you have good things already. I get this. But staying up beat when things are not going well is tough. We must try to believe that brighter days are around the corner. He said having self belief that everything will be alright is easy when things are going well. We can all imagine great possibilities on a sunny day having a beer in a beer garden in July. The hard part he said was doing that when things have gone to shit!

That’s the real test.

Can you do it then?

More to the point can I see the good in the low points?

Preparing yourself is half the battle

Tim Ferriss cites Marcus Aurelius’ quote that he prepared himself by expecting to meet “bad” people everyday. Maybe it comes back to lowering expectations about people and situations. That way there’s no surprises. to be fair I do that more than I used to. It can still affect you when you feel that life is unfair. Dealing with people who treat people like numbers not humans is hard. I don’t think expecting everything to be a bed of roses is negative, I see it as a positive. I will try to be ready for whatever comes my way.

The truth is we can’t change other people

So what can we do?

We can change our reactions. We can change the situation we find ourselves in. If we can’t make a change now, work towards a change. Never complain and do nothing. Fuck that for an attitude. Even taking yourself out of the situation gives you some power, some control. Sometimes we might need to retreat. There’s an old saying from the street, “Run away to fight another day”. Or as an old trainer said to me sometimes you just walk away and that’s it. Don’t worry about pride, do what’s right for you.

So what next?

Where’s the positive in a negative?

  • Firstly I can see what’s going on. I’m not lost in stress and anxiety.
  • Yes anxiety is in my body and mind but I understand what’s happening.
  • I have stepped out of the situation to assess options.
  • I’m reminded that it’s easy being positive when your positive.
  • Try it when you’re under pressure, that’s a real skill.
  • It has given me a chance to practice what I preach.
  • I’ve trained harder than normal and appreciate my body and how it makes you feel better after a work out.
  • I need to make more effort to change my situation, as only I can do that.
  • I feel better after writing this and need to write more.

Sometimes you need a rant.

But this is life and it’s tough sometime.

Win or learn.

For a happy life choose habits not resolutions

I’ve never been one for New Years resolutions.

If it’s something you couldn’t change in August or October what makes you think you can do it in January?

On reflection I do think January is a good time to start adding or subtracting good and bad habits for life and not only this coming year.

Some of the habits I want to stop are –


Most of the complaints we make don’t help us in any way. I’m not talking about a bad service in a restaurant, it’s when we complain about traffic lights or complain about your job when only you can change the situation (basically complaining about yourself).  If we can change the situation for example we’re unfit or overweight complaining doesn’t help. Just take action. If we can’t change the situation like bad weather all the complaining in the world won’t change it.

All in all complaining is a habit I need to get rid of and I think the benefits will be great for my anxiety as it will leave space for a positive outlook to form based on dealing with issues rather than always looking to the negative. I’m getting there slowly but surely.


Don’t try to be perfect

This is not practical and slows progress. No decision is worse than a bad decision! You may not be the best runner, footballer, writer or chef in the world but waiting for the perfect circumstances won’t help you get there. Trying will, taking action will. Making mistakes leads to progress, making mistakes leads to feedback.

The question to ask is did you try your best in the circumstances.

I’ll leave it as the above three for now I’m not perfect.




First steps

Blogging about anxiety

As I begin this journey I am pondering these quotes –

“A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step”

and the title of this blog –

“We win or learn”.

Win or learn

The first quote speaks for its self.

The need to appreciate that knowledge and guidance will come to me as and when I need it. This can’t be rushed – rushing leads to frustration and ultimately slows you down. Whereas patience helps you get where you want to go without the added stress, pressure and anxiety we put on ourselves.

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