There's no getting around it, stress is a fact of life. So, if it is such a given, how is it that some people are calm while chaos swirls around them, and others are on the verge of 'losing it'? It comes down to a matter of choice. We can use chose to stress to our advantage (if we know HOW to do it) or we can react negatively to the gush of energy that stress provides.

Don't think stress gives you energy? It really does!

When you're stressed, you tend to have oodles of energy. Stress is a good thing. Stress triggers a "fight or flight" response -- sending chemicals like adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol into our bloodstream. It's a burst of energy that gets us going and ensures our safety.

But how do you handle this burst of energy? Let me ask you to think about the following scenarios:

  • If you're stressed because of a conflict in your life, do you waste your energy by fighting back or defending yourself?
  • If you're stressed out because of a looming deadline, do you waste your energy by feeling anxious or worried?

If this sounds oh-so-familiar, your energy is misdirected towards solving the symptoms instead of addressing the root problem.

Here's the one thing you can't afford NOT to know about stress. It is supposed to be a burst of energy that helps you to get through a stressful situation, not a continual supply of never-ending energy. If you are constantly stressed, you are damaging your body. This misunderstanding causes millions of people to burn themselves out quickly.

Use Stress Energy Wisely

  • Stop focusing on the various problems or obstacles, instead, channel your energy into useful and productive thoughts and actions.
  • Keep moving forward. It's so easy to think negative thoughts like "I can't get this done in time. It's too overwhelming!" When you do, you often end up anxious, fretting and, consequently, spinning your wheels.
  • If something is overwhelming, keep hacking at it with the proverbial chisel and, piece by piece, your masterpiece will be complete.
  • Speaking of a chisel and a masterpiece, the statue of David wasn't finished instantly. Michelangelo had to chisel his idea out of a slab of marble that had a finished weight of six tons. That's no easy task for an artist that was only 26 when he began his more than two-year sculpting journey. He could have given up due to stress or frustration - after all, he was working with a poor quality slab of marble that was 17 ft tall -- but he didn't. Michelangelo certainly must have understood the challenges ahead of him, but he channeled his energy into the sculpture instead of feelings of anxiety or defeat.

    You have plenty of built up energy every day. Allow yourself to harness the burst of energy that a stressful situation supplies and let it work for you, not against you.

Author's Bio: 

Ronnie Nijmeh is the president of ACQYR and the author of Stress Busters, a stress toolkit packed with solutions, worksheets and strategies adapted to your life. Combined with personal coaching, Stress Busters becomes a complete program for managing stress. To learn more about Stress Busters, visit: