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How to Embrace Positive Stress

It’s possible that you haven’t ever heard of positive stress or that you think it’s a totally made-up concept.  The truth is that any change is stressful, even when it’s good.  And that’s where positive stress comes from.  You’re getting married, buying a new home, landed your dream job and along with that comes change and excitement.  Which let’s face it, can be pretty stressful.  And if you’re like me and come from a family that’s suspicious of good fortune that can make the whole situation even more stressful.  Y’all, I come from a family that believes that when something good is happening “the other shoe is about to drop”.  So, between the stress of change and worrying about the other shoe embracing positive stress was something I had to work really hard on.  Here’s what I found works for me.

Create Boundaries

Ok, first things first.  You may have noticed that not everyone can be happy for you.  Not everyone can celebrate your good fortune.  Create boundaries around who you tell your good news.  Be sure that they are cheerleaders not Eeyores. 

Telling those certain of shoe dropping or the ones who are likely to be green with envy will likely dampen your moment.  In addition, you aren’t doing them any favors either as your good news is likely to just stress them out. 

Share your joy with those who will cheer you on, encourage you, and support you.  This is particularly important if this new event in your life comes with increased responsibility or growth you may be nervous about.  You’ll want people in your corner who are not only happy for you but are happy to remind you that “you’ve got this” even when you’re not entirely sure. 

Keep a List

Rather than trying to remember all the things that are likely swimming around in your head about your new exciting adventure, write it down.  Even the best turn of events comes with preparation and adjustment.  Getting everything out of your head and down on paper where you can sort it out and prioritize it will allow you to enjoy the moment without the worry.

Once you’ve started your list or notebook you can schedule time to go through it and schedule or tackle anything that may need to be done.  Until then you can just smell the roses and enjoy the moment.

Be Present

And that brings me right to the next bit of advice.  Often with positive stress we get ahead of ourselves.  We start dreaming about the future of our good fortune and unfortunately, we completely miss the moment.  Take a hard pass on that and instead stay present.  Enjoy this moment.  There will always be some future thing to dream about and here’s the secret, when you get to that future you’ll miss that too if you don’t create the habit of being present.

Acknowledge where you are, keep a journal, take the time to be grateful for this moment.  And when your mind wanders into the future bring it back by creating awareness about the things you have to enjoy today because you won’t have them in that imagined future. 

The very best and most clear example of this is imaging the future our children will have.  Remember that in that future they will no longer snuggle with you, they won’t live at home, you won’t be able to protect them as you can now.  Enjoy what you have in this moment, be present.  The future has a way of taking care of itself (it honestly does).

Celebrate

Even if you celebrate in a private sort of way for just a couple moments, be sure to celebrate.  Positive stress comes from positive stuff that deserves celebration.  Allow yourself the time to be truly excited and overjoyed before you get into the details.  Write yourself a letter about your big accomplishment.  Give yourself a big pat on the back. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in preparing for the changes that will come with this positive stressor that we move right into prep phase and skip the celebration all together.  Don’t do that… you deserve to be celebrated!

Maintain an Abundance Mentality

You NEVER have to apologize for your success!  I mean, unless you really did steal or cheat your way into it and then I have no idea what you’re doing here. 

There is more than enough success to go around.  The idea that you accomplishing something means there’s less to go around for everyone else is based in scarcity mentality and it’s a lie.  There’s plenty for everyone.  And not only that but who better than you to be experiencing this positivity.  Why?  Well, because if you’re reading this blog and hanging with this community, I know that you’re committed to not only creating your best life but to also helping and inspiring others to do the same.  So, yay you! 

The part of the positive stress cycle you can check off the list is thoughts or feelings of guilt or unworthiness.  Just don’t go there (and see the first tip to avoid being drug there).  Maintaining an abundance mentality can help you embrace the positive stress cycle in a healthy way and get rid of the baggage.

Capitalize on it

Hey… while you’re here, capitalize on it!  The positive stress cycle includes all sorts of awesome stuff like positive thoughts, good mood, and health benefits.  That makes this the perfect time to create affirmations, start taking better care of your health, or create new habits.

It’s much easier to tackle a project or change your mindset when you’re feeling amazing and confident.  Set aside some time to think about what exciting new doors are opening to you and how to make the most of them.

Lean In

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Whatever you’re feeling during this time isn’t wrong, so don’t try to fight it.  Be curious about your experience with positive stress and your outlook.  Learn and grow from this experience.  Find ways to let go of the need to control the moment and allow yourself to ride the wave. Embrace the positive stress cycle, after all, this is the good kind of stress we all want a little more of!

What recent event has triggered a positive stress cycle in your life and what are you doing to embrace it?

Posted in Health & Wellness, Wellness

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