It can either send you rushing or it can leave you petrified. Stress and anxiety go together when a pressing situation is placed before a person. It can be an accident or a medical emergency that needs more physical exertion or it could also be a meeting, a contest or a seminar wherein a person has to face a huge crowd. Anyone can have their own versions of stressful events. As the stress level rises only two things could happen, either it cripples or it pushes the person to work. The latter is much preferable of course but staying calm is far easier said than done. But the stress and anxiety can indeed be harnessed into becoming a source of energy and drive. It takes dedication and courage to muster the strength in reframing stress and anxiety into tools of productivity.
- Acknowledge that it exists
Everyone has to face a stressful or scary situation every now and then. Its part of life and it is unavoidable. A person has to get used to experiencing stress and anxiety or else risk going beyond the border of normal anxiety into anxiety disorder.
- Use it to your Advantage
The body releases chemical during stressful situations. These are adrenaline, noradrenaline or norepinephrine and cortisol. With just the right amount of these chemicals or hormones, a person can perform in an optimal state and can be attributed to eustress or the fight mode. The opposite effect is inaction and crippling which could happen when the secretion of these chemicals continue to rise. This causes distress or the flight mode or in extreme crippling anxiety. What this means is that in order to make use of the release of these stress hormones, a person has to make a move before the flight mode kicks in. This is channeling the power of eustress to achieve results.
- Anxiety Reappraisal
A cognitive technique that is gaining more interest nowadays is anxiety reappraisal. It’s basically conditioning your brain to prefer more favorable emotions over the stressful ones. Instead of acknowledging that you feel nervous, try telling yourself that you feel excited instead. Whenever a disturbing thought that triggers stress and anxiety come to mind think of its opposite and focus on it.
- Mastering Your Focus
Stress and anxiety could cloud a person’s mind and in turn aggravates the feeling. It takes away your control over yourself and the situation. One way to subtly regain control is to focus your attention to one aspect of the problem one at a time and to choose those which can immediately be controlled. Taking one step at a time until all important aspects are addressed.
- Leave an Open End
A most common way of thinking that keeps a person anxious is the constant dead-end way of thinking. When a person tends to think ahead and to imagine a terrible end to a situation, stress and anxiety levels could spike. This is a fixed mindset. Counter this with growth mindset which is like leaving an open end to the story or the situation. Instead of a dead-end a person has to think of possibilities to which the situation could end up. This brings excitement and hope instead of dread.