Stress is a tricky feeling. For many, it’s an emotion that overwhelms them, takes away the enjoyment of an activity, and leads to physical symptoms. Read on to find out the 5 Ways to Reframe Stress as Motivation.
Feeling stress can actually be a good thing, and there are ways to use it in order to reframe your mindset and use it to your advantage. Stress can motivate you to accomplish your goals and let you finish tasks that become harder to complete over time.
At the same time, uncontrolled stress can lead to side effects, like headaches, signs of premature aging, and high blood pressure. It’s something you may try to push aside and can’t see any benefit from.
But what if there could be a benefit after all? Here are five ways to use stress as motivation.
5 Ways to Reframe Stress as Motivation
1. Learn Your Signs of Stress
Everyone responds to stress differently. In order to harness yours, you need to know how your body reacts to it.
Symptoms of stress can be subtle, such as your jaw clenching or grinding your teeth, or as severe as your heart racing and feelings of panic. Stress can cause your body to go into fight, flight, freeze, or fawn, heightening your senses. Common signs of stress are muscle tension and stomach aches, irritability, and feelings of anxiety or restlessness.
If you keep track of situations where you feel stress, you can identify patterns and learn what triggers it in you. Try to identify stressful situations and what symptoms begin when you first experience them.
By learning your symptoms of stress, you can control it before it gets overwhelming. When you have control over your stress, you can use it to your advantage.
2. Use It as Fuel
Stress can make you feel jittery like it’s impossible to relax. This energy can make you feel anxious and overwhelmed, or you can grab it to take action on the things the stress involves.
You can reframe the stress you feel as your body gives you energy to put towards a task. It can be similar to drinking a cup of coffee, but be cautious about caffeine. While caffeine can intensify feelings of stress, there are nutrient-rich foods you can eat too boost your energy and alleviate stress.
If you’re stressed about a deadline, those feelings can fuel you to work and complete the project. You can use stress about a health concern to go to the doctor and get things checked out. You can use the stress of your diminishing coffee supply to go to the grocery store.
Stress can be an excellent tool to push forward just when you feel like giving up on a task, allowing you to reach the finish line.
3. Remember Your “Why”
There’s a reason you feel stressed about something. If you didn’t care about it, you wouldn’t feel strongly about the things happening around you. When something gets stressful, you can turn that stress into power by remembering your “why.”
A “why” is the reason you are doing something or caring about it. In your work, the “why” could be supporting your family or making a difference in your clients’ lives. When planning a friend’s bridal shower, your “why” is that you want them to have a wonderful experience. When you sit at the DMV, your “why” is that you want to be street-legal.
Whether you’re overwhelmed by life’s tasks or feel concerned about things you can’t control, remember the “why” of your stress and how your caring can be a good thing. It can even turn a stressful moment into one of mindfulness and gratefulness.
4. Use It to Prioritize
Stress can be a great indicator of what’s important to you and can be used to prioritize. If you have a lot of things to do, your levels of stress can indicate which task is the most urgent for you to complete.
If you need to pay a bill, visit a friend, and drop off dry cleaning, you can use your level of stress for each one to decide which is urgent and which can wait. While that list is relatively simple, there are a lot of situations where you need to prioritize things in your work, social, and personal lives. The stress you feel about each can help you make the right choices.
Use your stress as a guide to know what’s most important, but don’t let it rule you.
5. Welcome It
It’s hard to enjoy stress, but if you ignore it, it can significantly affect your body and mind. You can use stress to your advantage by accepting it as part of life and accepting that’s what you feel, but don’t let it stop you from doing the things you want or need to do.
When you welcome feelings of stress instead of fighting them, you can choose how to utilize the feeling for your betterment.
Accepting the stress you feel can help you manage it better, which can give you mental and physical health benefits. The less you fight the feeling of stress, the more it can help you throughout your life.
Using Stress for Motivation
Stress can feel overwhelming, but it’s an emotion you can utilize in your favor. By using your stress to motivate you, it’s possible to accomplish the things you desire and find the fuel you need to get through life’s challenges.