“The fibers of all things have their tension and are strained like the strings of an instrument”           ~Henry David Thoreau


How Good Stress Can Result in Your Personal Growth & Happiness

As we have been learned in these past few posts, stress can have a negative and prolonged impact on relationships, health and well-being. There is a world of information available that offers endless tips and strategies that suggest it is vital to get rid of its unpleasant and debilitating effects on our lives.

However, if you look more deeply, there are numerous compelling positives in some types of stress. If approached with awareness and curiosity, shorter stress episodes can be powerful opportunities that teach you more about who you truly are. Working with and through your stress rather than pushing against it or running away from it holds the possibility for self-discovery, growth and ultimately, greater confidence and happiness in the midst of its inevitable presence.

What Stress Can Do For You – The Benefits of Stress

  • If you look at the events and people that cause stress and anxiety in your life, it can point up areas within you that need healing and attention and can lead to deeper self-knowledge..
  • Just as physical exercise strengthens your muscles and increases your fitness level, learning how to manage higher levels of stress can strengthen your resilience, emotional intelligence and growth.
  • Stress can cause you to seek more innovative and creative solutions to solving problems so you can move beyond unmanageable and anxiety-inducing situations.
  • When overwhelming stress appears as part of achieving set goals and expectations, it can be a signal to reassess and reset a more realistic and authentic focus.
  • Short bursts of stress can spur you into action and become the motivation to get things done. It can inspire you to perform well on exams; can drive you to develop increasingly higher levels of competence and skillsets; can give you an edge to face your fears of public speaking; can assist you to find your voice to ask for that raise, to speak out against injustice or to express your needs in relationship.
  • Physiologically, stress creates higher levels of cortisone in your brain, which can deliver an intellectual edge that boosts mental alertness and awareness and narrows your focus to address the task at hand.
  • The temporary increase in cortisone can also help improve memory and recall and help fight fatigue.
  • The raw outcome of the stress response can improve physical reflexes, reactions and endurance as a result of increased adrenaline in your body. This is especially useful in sports competitions or during sudden confrontations where you need an edge.
  • Stress can inspire you to embrace the challenge of a new situation and can be the impetus for you to take calculated risks that can expand your knowledge, confidence and skills.
  • Stress experiences show you where you need to let go of worry and can help you discern and focus on what problems are solvable. When you learn what you can resolve and expend your energy there, it is then possible to let go of the rest of what you worry about and set yourself free.

Take the time to honour the stress events in your life and resolve to explore what they are trying to show you. Let them unleash the incredible potential within you that can lead you to new choices and greater freedom. Stress can offer deeper self-knowledge, self-esteem and ultimately help you discover true happiness.

“Somewhere underneath the stress, there is something you really care about.” ~Dr.Kathleen Hall

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