Stress: The Road To Disaster Or The Key To Success?

Most of us have learned that stress is different things to different people and that it can cause harm to our immune system, behavioral, communication, cognitive and physiological changes that can be harmful as well.

What if I told you that stress is actually the catalyst that propels human beings to higher achievement?

Here is how that works: “Stuff” happens and most of it is beyond our control.  However, it is how we deal with that “stuff” that makes the difference.  So what does that mean?

Studies have shown that people who espouse a positive attitude when faced with stressful situations are better able to resolve and deal with them successfully.  Here is why.  When you recognize the stress reaction from a burst of adrenaline can actually offer you clarity and focus if you leverage it that way, and if you breathe deeply, rather than begin to hyperventilate, you will have more rational abilities to think more creatively and so  be better able to resolve those “scary” issues in a more satisfactory manner.

Rather than letting stress make you feel overwhelmed, unable to cope or even depressed, if you decide that the problem or situation is just a challenge worth fixing or an obstacle you can remove, you will find that your brain functions more effectively with that adrenalin boost and you will feel more innovative and able to think outside the box.

In addition, studies have also shown that your brain is designed to grow new neurons as long as you are alive and as long as you challenge it to open new neuropathways by using other parts of your brain that you usually do not use. In other words, stress can actually help you to be more effective, efficient, productive, and even creative if you leverage that heightened and more energetic opportunity to offer you the focus and clarity to do something amazing.

People who allow stress to take over their lives rather than using it to be more successful do end up suffering many of the symptoms and irreversible outcomes that come from long-term undeflected stress.  That is a choice. Therefore is it much better to control what you can, which is your attitude, so that you can deal more effectively with whatever changes, obstacles, or challenges that are thrown your way?

One other thing I want to remind you of, again, breathe!  Often the first thing that happens to you when something stressful occurs, you stop breathing.  When this happens, you lower the oxygen levels in your brain and that causes the loss of rational thought.

So, the next time something stressful occurs, do the following……first take a few deep breaths by slowly breathing in and slowly breathing out.  Then decide that you are going to leverage this burst of energy to help you resolve whatever the problem or situation is rather than letting it overwhelm you.  Once you have decided that the problem is worth dealing with… other words, do not make mountains out of molehills, choose your battles, then you can work on what would be the best approach to deal with this issue.

You may not be able to fix everything yourself, but realizing you can get some help to do it is part of using your brain effectively. Stress does not have to be the road to disaster, instead, it can be a key to your success as long as you decide it can be!


Sandy Chernoff
Sandy Chernoff
SANDY'S 30 years of didactic and clinical teaching in study clubs and continuing dental education, coupled with her almost 40 years of Dental Hygiene practice bring a wealth of experience to her interactive soft skills workshops. With her education background she easily customizes interactive sessions to suit the specific needs of her clients. Her energetic and humorous presentation style has entertained and informed audiences from Victoria to New York City. Sandy’s client list includes law firms, teaching institutions, volunteer and professional organizations and conferences, businesses, and individuals. Her newest project is turning her live workshops into e-learning programs using an LMS platform. Her teaching and education background have helped her to produce meaningful and somewhat interactive courses for the learners wanting the convenience of e-learning options. As the author of 5 Secrets to Effective Communication, Sandy has demonstrated her ability to demystify the complexities of communication so that the reader can learn better strategies and approaches which will greatly improve their communication skills and ultimately reduce conflict, resentment, disappointment, complaining, and confusion. As a result, the reader will be able to increase productivity, efficiency and creativity, improve all the relationships in their lives and ultimately enjoy a happier, healthier existence! Sandy blogs regularly on her two websites on the various soft skills topics that are featured in her workshops and e-learning programs.

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