I want to talk a bit today, about stress. So I'm giving you some beautiful images from our travels in France to enjoy, so you feel less stressed.
These are all from Giverny, Honfleur, Versailles, and Musee` Rodin, all of which have a special place in my heart.
We've all come to dread Stress. We're told that it's a terrible thing. Stress ages us, makes us tense, prevents us from getting on with our life in a productive fashion, and causes relationship troubles.
Certainly this can be true.
But back when I studied Psychology as part of a Human Resource Management Degree, we learned that the right kind of stress, can be a wonderful thing. It can help us achieve more in our life, give us the mental and physical energy to deal with a crisis, and boost us when we need it most.
See, there are two kinds of stress. The type we've commonly come to think of as 'stress' is actually called Distress. Yes, we all know that word and it has exactly that connotation, doesn't it.
But there's this other sort called Eustress.
Eustress is positive stress. It's a great motivator, and helps give you that sense of accomplishment that is so important to having a contented and productive life.
You know that feeling when you're dog tired, but you have to finish that assignment/wedding cake/christening gown/Christmas gift, so somehow, you dig deep and find that 'second wind' that allows you to accomplish what's required? That's Eustress.
Or when you have a new baby, that's woken you every hour on the hour, but somehow, you find the energy to rise at your usual time to get your other children off to school? That's Eustress.
Or you have a report due for the big boss, and you've worked late every night for a week, and you're utterly exhausted, but you're pretty sure there's a promotion in this, so you find the energy somehow, to not only finish, but make it look fantastic too. That's Eustress.
We wouldn't get much done without Eustress in our lives. We'd all just potter along on the Never Mind, and I guess for some, that's okay too. But we're all only here in THIS life once, no matter your spiritual leanings, so why wouldn't we make the most of it?
Next time you feel 'stressed', stop, take a deep breath, and ask yourself whether what you're feeling is Distress, or Eustress. If it's Eustress, then embrace it, and stop perceiving it as a negative. Use it to your advantage. Breathe, visualise how you'll feel when this period of Eustress has helped you achieve your goal,whether it's creating a fab lunch for ten friends, a busy day of work and volunteering, or a new project that needs completion, and go for it.
Stress can be GOOD. Really.