BRAIN FOOD: Making stress work for you

BRAIN FOOD: Making stress work for you - Appreciate that some stress can be useful - without it we would be bored and less effective. A recent survey found that nine out of 10 Londoners experience stress at work but that 50% are still happy with their job

by OCTAVIUS BLACK, co-founder, The Mind Gym, www.themindgym.com
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Appreciate that some stress can be useful - without it we would be bored and less effective. A recent survey found that nine out of 10 Londoners experience stress at work but that 50% are still happy with their jobs.

Identify what is making you distressed so that you can turn distress (negative stress) into eustress or positive stress - which you need for high performance. The more specific you are, the more likely you will be able to use the stress positively.

Decide what is beyond your control and put it firmly to one side. Focus on what is within your sphere of influence and get on with it.

Change the way you look at the situation. Replace 'I can't do it' with 'I can do some of it', 'I will learn a lot from it', or 'at least I'm having a go'.

Leave your work worries in the office. When you don't need to think about what is making you stressed, learn to switch off.

Reflect on the last time you were distressed, what you did to make it better and what you could have done. We're usually so relieved when a stressful situation passes that we forget to reflect and fail to improve on how we deal with it.

Smile, laugh, tell jokes. It keeps things in perspective and boosts the immune system by stimulating the release of certain chemicals in the body.

Enjoy the experience. If you enjoy thrill-seeking roller-coasters or computer games, treat the real-life challenges similarly - as adventures.

Talk to sympathetic colleagues and friends if stress continues, or seek professional help. Continuous distress is bad for your health.

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