The Benefits of (a little) Stress

I’ll never forget my first follow-up visit with my chiropractor when he waved my scan results in front of my face and said, “You don’t need to tell me you’re stressed… I’M telling YOU you’re stressed. You need to chill out.”

Rob doesn’t get this. “What on earth do you have to be stressed about?” he asks. And I try to explain that I can’t help it… I live in a perpetual state of stress. I’m 99% certain I get it from my mother.

My brain does not turn off. Ever. It is constantly organizing and reorganizing, hashing and rehashing all the things I’m doing in my life, all things I want to be doing but am not, all the things I plan to be doing tomorrow or next month or next year and what I can do to make sure I repeat [ or don’t ] the things I’ve done before.

Some of you get exactly what I’m saying… I can *feel* you nodding your head in agreement. Others think people like us are nuts. And maybe we are. But I think there are certain benefits that come with being at least a [little] bit stressed:

  1. You’re Never Satisfied:Sure, it can get annoying sometimes, but there is something rewarding that comes with setting and achieving a goal, taking a whole 5 seconds to relish in your achievement and immediately planning the next one.Rob walked into our bedroom a few weeks ago and found me staring blankly at our furniture. “What are you doing?”, he asked. “I’m thinking about how I want to re-do the bedroom.” He raised an eyebrow at me, and pointed at the missing wall that led to the new rooms we were adding onto our house. “Let’s get the hole in the house fixed first, okay?” 🙂

    Chronic over-planner? Yep. That’s me.

    Yes, I think there is definitely something to be said about never being “truly” satisfied. It keeps you pushing ever onward, doing the best to realize your potential in the best way you know how.

    Please don’t confuse this with never being happy. I am happy ALL the time. Okay, most of the time. I love my life and feel so incredibly blessed every single day. But I also know that I want more. More experiences. More adventures. More walls to decorate. And this desire makes sure I never spend too much time in the same place.

  2. You’re Forced to Make Changes — Discomfort breeds change.It’s easy to become complacent with things get to comfortable. You coast along and before you know it a chunk of time has gone by and you’ve gone absolutely no where. When things are stressful though, you begin asking yourself questions like, “How can I make this better?” “What do I need to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?” “What do I need to do to make this happen every day?”

    Rob credits the success he’s had with his company to the stress that comes from running it. The stressful situations have forced us to get creative and make changes to the way the business is run… which has led to company growth… which, in case you were wondering, leads to more stress 🙂

    The same goes for any area of your life you are wanting to grow in. I’ve known countless people who didn’t give a hoot about their health until they suddenly had a heart attack. Their body screamed, “HELLO! I’m STRESSED!!” and now they’re in the gym 6 days a week and closely watching every morsel of food that passes their lips.

    But it doesn’t always have to be that extreme. Our body gives us signs every day that it’s stressed out — indigestion, fatigue, sore muscles and joints, or… for me…  a migraine. It took me long enough to figure it out, but these days it only takes a slight twinge in my neck before I’m asking myself, “Did you rest enough last night?” “Did you drink enough water today?” “Have you been putting healthy food in your body or are you eating too many Taco Villa Burritos?”

    Stress creates discomfort… which creates change.

  3. You’re Open to New Ideas — Think back to any radically new idea you have adopted in your life. This could be a new way of doing business, or maybe even a total career move. It could be a new parenting technique or a new workout regimen.Chances are you will be able to link each of those changes to at least a little bit of stress you were experiencing at the time! Maybe you were stressed about your physical appearance, or the way your child had stop respecting authority. Maybe your stress came from seeing co-workers laid off and resulted in worry about your own job security. Maybe it was the change in the economy… which resulted in you having to alter the way you do business.

    Regardless of the area, as I mentioned before, a little bit of stress can lead to the need for change, which will lead to you being more open-minded about new ideas.

    I’ve seen this time and time again with prospects in my own business. People who at one time or another would have NEVER considered a home business… but now, for whatever reason, their mind has been opened to it.

    Maybe they’ve recently had a child, and the thought of returning to work stresses them out. Or maybe it was seeing that co-worker lose their job, or perhaps they took a pay cut.

    The examples are endless — but the bottom line is — stress leads to an open open mind, which means an open world of opportunities in any area of your life!

Too much stress is never good for you… and my chiropractor is probably right, it wouldn’t hurt me to chill out a little every now and then 🙂

The question you need to ask yourself is, Are you avoiding stress? Or are you avoiding growth? Because unfortunately, if you want to grow, you are likely going to have to experience a little bit of stress. You must learn to become okay with that and realize that whatever stress you experience is likely only for a short time… and when you arrive at the other side you will be living a more fulfilling life in whatever area you are choosing to grow in!

“It’s not the stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it.”

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