Like cholesterol, there is good stress and bad stress. Bad stress brings fear (of failure) and disruption (to your health). Good stress on the other hand, comes from challenging ourselves, which in turn, helps with our development and growth.
The boys have been going to their Kung Fu summer camp this week at the Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute. Initially, they were a bit stressed by all the practice and how hard Shifu was pushing them. Then, two days into it, something clicked. They felt stronger, more focused and leaner. They were proud of their stances, they were fast and strong and eager to perform! The stress brought out the best in them.
For me, as a new driver (at 46 no less!), I noticed that I was feeling stress when driving on the highway. Initially, I didn’t realize that my body was stressed. When I noticed it, I became aware of how much I was concentrating to do the right things: merging, watching the big truck in front of me, checking for pedestrians, slowing down… A few days into it, something clicked. I felt more aware, more confident and more focused. I was proud of how much I improved, and at the same time, understanding that it was still going to take a great deal of practice to be a good driver.
Good stress: makes you better!
Bad stress on the other hand comes from toxic relationships, lack of constructive communication and constant unknowns. Bad stress causes frustration, anger, confusion and ultimately hurts our health. There will always be unknowns in life, but we all need to work harder at improving our relationships through communication… or removing ourselves from relationships that hurt us.
Bad stress: makes you sick!
It is up to us to see what kinds of stress we are under and how to address them: rise up to the challenge and develop… or get out of the situation quickly!