Hello Stress

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I am sure you are no exception. Frustrations are old friends. There are many reasons we can get frustrated these days. Lack of possible resolutions of the current trade wars…Political party in power who prioritize their personal agenda over the general public interest…Your co-workers and you are on different wavelengths…Uncertainties under the current consolidation climate at your workplace are all exhausting…Your spouse has different perspectives on parental guidance and political inclinations. Your precious down-time during weekends is given priorities to your family and your comfort comes last…. You get the gist of it.

All the above are different kinds of stress. And according to behavioral scientists who study how people reach their peak performances, might that be in the athletic world or in an office environment, stress is one of the key elements in the growth equation, however, we all understand that long-term stress is not sustainable, therefore, scientists who studies those elites in their own fields, they firmly believe “stress + rest = growth”.

Stress is inevitable if you are aiming for growth. The question is, how you “work” with your stress could have significant impact on how to attain your goals. Many of us “just deal with things” as they come, checking them off the list in the shortest period, however, it may not be the most feasible or satisfying way to work on your stress. Take for example a professional athlete who deals with stress from inside out, from muscle fatigue to peer and public pressure. Researchers found that those who consistently perform well have established routines which help to alleviate stress in order to “run” for the long haul, quite literally and figuratively! From taking incremental physical stress, safely, to practice deep focus workout periods, where they turn off all distractions (yes, that means no checking on social apps) for short time blocks, with resting periods in between. Apparently, the same formula also applies to our workspace and provide equally good results.

You may want to indulge during your summer, reading “Peak Performance” by Stulberg and Magness. Their insights on how we can systemically grow by alternating between stress and rest make their book a fascinating read.

Without knowing the science behind it, I had been embracing the stress and rest formula for my hard-core hobby of Ballet. After reaching a point of intense exhaustion, I began to understand the importance of taking rests periods. And I know the taste of unnecessary “suffering” if I didn’t take time out from my practice. This “stress + rest = growth” is very apropos to life in general, to anyone who enjoys the “thrills” of maturing a new aspect of life.

How might diving even deeper into your stressful situations for shorter periods and then practice “absolutely letting it go” for periods, offer you a creative resolution you may never have imagined? I would love to hear your story.