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How can I always get the GOOD kind of stress instead of the BAD?
Stress feels bad. No surprise there.
But, a lot of people say they work better under pressure. That’s the good kind of stress.
It turns out that you can change any stress you have into the good kind—the kind that makes you happier and healthier. What’s even better, is that it’s a really easy, fast thing to do.
In order to change a threat response (harmful) INTO a challenge response (helpful), you just need to reframe your stress.
The reframes are just four simple reminders you give yourself that you are BIGGER than your stress, and you have the resources to tackle it. Those simple reminders are
You’re excited—not anxious.
Your stress response is valuable.
This is a learning opportunity—not a threat.
Remind yourself who you REALLY are.
You can’t always get rid of the stress in your life. But, don’t worry. You can use the How to Make Stress Your Superpower series to get great at stress.
DIY your stress with this series, or you can get help from me 1-on-1.
Whichever option you choose, you can finally master stress.
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How to Make Stress Your Superpower
In the last episode we talked about how your body's stress response gives you energy—like a cup of coffee.
But, how can you make sure that your Brainy Barista always serves up a challenge response and gives you a cup of courage instead of a cup of fear?
Always Get a Challenge Response
To get a challenge response (the kind of stress that feels good and is good for you), there are four simple reminders you can give yourself. These reminders will help you reframe stress from a threat response into a challenge response.
Number one—remind yourself that you're excited, not anxious.
Excitement and anxiety feel the same in your body. You have a faster heart rate and tight muscles with both. But, if you tell your brain you're excited (rather than anxious), your brain will believe you. And, excitement is a challenge response all the way!
#2—Stress Is Valuable
Number two—remind yourself that your stress response is a valuable asset. It gives you the energy and power to take care of something you care about.
Not only does a challenge response help your health, it also helps your performance on sports and on big-time tests like the GRE. Research shows that people who have a challenge response perform better than people who doesn't stress at all.
#3—It’s a Learning Opportunity
Number three—remind yourself that your stress is a learning opportunity. It's not a threat.
My husband uses this one all the time. When he's stressed, he'll ask himself, “What's the worst thing that can happen?” There are very few situations (in our modern lives) where your stress has life and death consequences.
#4—Who You REALLY Are
Number four, remind yourself who you REALLY are, the awesome things you've already done, and who your friends are.
There are four simple ways to remind yourself of how amazing you truly are and why you can handle whatever stress dishes out.
Make a mental list of your strengths.
For me, I'd write down creative, optimistic, and determined.
What would you write down?
Identify your prior preparations and experience.
For me, I often use the mantra, “It's not heart surgery.”
You see, the first year of my youngest daughter's life, she had two complicated heart surgeries, and she was in the hospital for a total of four months.
That was tough.
But, we got through it. And now when I start getting stressed, I repeat the mantra, “It's not heart surgery.” Because I got through that, I remind myself that everything else pales in comparison.
What experiences have you had that makes you bigger than your stress?
Identify the support that you get from others.
If I feel my resources aren't enough for my stress, then I just remember all my friends, my business partners, and my coach. I may not be bigger than my stress, but my friends are. They're always bigger than my challenge.
So, who's in your corner?
YOUR HIGHER POWER
And, for those who believe in a higher power, there's always prayer and asking others to pray for you.
When God's in charge, there's never any need for a threat response.
Change a Threat Response into a Challenge Response
What do you do when you take a sip and you realize you got the wrong order?
It's never too late to change stress responses.
Just like you can always add some milk to transform an espresso into a latte, you can always switch your threat response into a challenge response.
Use one of the four reminders above. Or use this quick mantra, “I'm bigger than this stress and I have the resources to tackle it.”
This will get your brain to switch responses.
Stress is Energy and Power
So, remember, your cup of stress is there to give you the energy and power you need to take care of the important things in life.
And, you can always get your brainy barista to change your order to a cup of courage.
Do you want to be the boss of your stress?
Tune into the next episode to learn the one minute habit you can do anytime you want to focus and intensify the power of your stress.
This is THE SECRET WEAPON of How to Make Stress Your Superpower.
What to Do Next
Want to DIY Getting Better at Stress?
If you need some help reframing your stress and getting good at it, make sure you check out ALL the videos/ blog posts in this series.
Next week, I’ll teach you the one minute habit that will Make Stress Your Superpower.
Want Real Results Now?
If you’re done with DIY and want to fix your health and stress once-and-for-all, here’s what you should do:
We’ll map out your customized health and stress habit plan together.
Then, we’ll get started--finally succeeding one habit at a time.
With the Real Healthy Habits Jumpstart Program, your definition of health and stress management success can finally be a reality.
Until next time,
Kudos to Kelly McGonigal, PhD
I want to give a big shout out and a high five to Kelly McGonigal, PhD, the author of The Upside of Stress: Why Stress is Good for You and How to Get Good at It.
I read stacks and stacks of books on stress trying to figure out what to do about it. Kelly’s book was the only book that gave me hope and a true mindset shift that stress could be my superpower.
I hope that I’ve done (so many of) her ideas justice.
I'm a dietitian, personal trainer, and health coach who started asking all the tough health and weight loss questions-- like how do we get more willpower, why can’t we stay motivated, and why is getting healthy and losing weight so tough?
I discovered that the answer to all these questions is simply--Your Brain.
I help frustrated people end their health and weight loss struggles by understanding their brain and then working with it—instead of against it. Then, I teach them how to put their personalized health habits on autopilot for results that last.
You deserve the health and energy you need to live your best life.