People use the term 'stress' very loosely. A majority of people believe that stress has a negative connotation to it. For example, an executive who works hard to meet a deadline, and then forced to answer a phone call while finishing up a last minute report would consider himself being stressed.
What is stress... really? To put it very simply, when we are stressed, our body’s nervous system will release a brew of stress hormones. Some of the names of these hormones may be familiar:
These are the hormones that save us from an emergency situation such as road accidents.
As our body gets flooded with stress hormones, our heart beats faster, blood pressure increases, we have shorter, quicker breaths and on the brighter note, we tend to have sharper senses which increases our strength to a higher level than usual. That is the reason why some people claim that they are able to deliver better under the pressure of a deadline. Of course in instances of major trauma or disappointment, we experience ‘distress’ which is an example of bad stress.
What we do need to understand is, we all need a little amount of stress to work at our best. That’s the purpose of deadlines & milestones- to motivate us to complete a task which in turn helps increase productivity. This little amount of ‘good’ stress is known as ‘eustress’.
So, the next time you are about to give a presentation in front of a crowd, and feel that familiar sensation of butterflies-in-your-stomach and heart pounding against your chest, that is just your stress hormones giving you a surge of energy so that you are able to perform at your best. Don’t fight it. Embrace it! The nervousness will dissipate within 2 minutes, and suddenly you are in the ZONE! Eustress is Good Stress.
The BOX Training's Guest Contributor