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Good Stress vs. Bad Stress

Brenda Jameson

Stressed (1)

How to refocus in the workplace.

​We all know that dreaded feeling of stress when you walk into work not knowing what to focus on. You have nothing in your pipeline, and it leaves you feeling panicked or directionless. BUT what about the days when you walk into work worried about how much you have to get done that day? When the roles keep coming in and your clients keep calling? Now that is GOOD STRESS!!

In the workplace, we often talk about stress as being a bad thing. There are countless articles encouraging us to reduce stress and take on less, but rarely do we talk about good stress or how to increase it. Good or positive stress is often referred to by psychologists as the “challenge response”. It’s the stress that is caused when we receive a new exciting task at work, your heart starts racing and you are driven to produce the best outcome. Stress can be the thing you need to spark motivation and achieve your goals in the workplace.

So how are you going to create a sense of good stress in your job?

1. Use your productive hours wisely. If you are anything like me, I experience an energy lull towards the end of the day. So spend your most active and focused hours doing your most important tasks! It will help set the tone for the day by achieving the most important tasks straight away and take away the "bad stress' of feeling like you are playing catch up!

2. Pick up the phone one more time. Whether it's to make one more connection with your client, speak to a new lead or find the perfect solution, picking up the phone one more time before you leave for the day will get you closer to that goal! If you keep putting off the challenging call then you are creating more "bad stress" for yourself, jump right in and get it done.

3. Take a break and refocus. There is no point staring off in to space or pushing yourself through if you are having trouble concentrating or feeling 'brain dead'. Take a 5 -10 min break, get some fresh air, stand up and move your body. When you come back to your desk you will be more focused! "Bad stress" would be sitting there with the pressure building up without doing anything, a change of scenery even for 2 mins can make a big difference.

We all have those days at work when we feel "Bad Stress" but learning to create good stress for ourselves and embracing that challenge will help to feel fulfilled and motivated in the workplace.