How to benefit from stress and anxiety

The benefit of stress

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.

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 hopefully view stress as our friend. Stress 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…

Don’t ignore anxiety

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.

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? “.