Can Workplace Stress Ever Be Good?

pouring water in a glass collection isolatedJust as you were getting comfortable with your lunchtime “ohms” to reduce daily job stress comes word from business school researchers that stress can actually be good for you. Not the kind that raises blood pressure, attacks the immune system, and causes you to lose sleep, but the kind that motivates you to achieve goals, especially those at work.

Changing your attitudes and expectations about stress can modify your responses to new stressful events. Learning how to redefine stress as a challenge ahead of time can limit the increases in cortisol and other physiological markers of stress, allowing you to feel less tense yet more focused. You can choose to reframe the experience of fear and instead view the effects of adrenaline – your heart pumping strongly and your body going into high alert – as beneficial to your task at hand, helping you to perform better.

Stress can be productive when you feel in control over your work experience and optimistic that you have the power to steer your career in the direction you want. Believing that your efforts bring meaning and purpose to your life is a plus and helps buffer the tension and hassles you might otherwise experience.

When you have a boss or co-workers who give you support and encouragement, it allows you to grow more self-confident about accomplishing your objectives. If you need to look for validation outside of your close associates, a peer-support group can be helpful in turning your bad stress into a more constructive motivator.

Since moderate stress plays an important part in growth – psychological and even physical – now is the time to learn how to harness it for your benefit, at work and at home. Check out our tips on how to turn a crisis into a challenge and then join the conversation by using the Leave a Reply link to share what has helped you turn bad stress into good.

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