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You Can’t Survive Without Stress

Any time you reach for something new, better and different, stress will be involved. The key is to determine what kind of stress is headed your way.

Bad Stress

The first is distress, the sort most of us already know and experience — probably quite frequently. This is when your body responds physically and negatively to your mental state. Typically, your heart rate elevates, muscles tense and the body releases the damaging chemical cortisol into the bloodstream. Although I’m not a doctor (and I don’t play one on TV), too much of that is never a good thing.

Good Stress

The other kind of stress is eustress — the “good” kind of stress. When you’re mentally challenged to follow a speaker’s logic, complete a challenging math problem or rise to the occasion and meet a pressing deadline, new neural pathways help your brain become more fit.

You also can experience eustress when you challenge yourself physically by lifting a heavier weight, running at a faster pace or increasing the incline on the treadmill. You’re forcing your body to increase your physical and cardiovascular capacity for work, which releases the positive chemical dopamine and makes you feel good about exerting energy.

You Need Stress

You can’t live a life without any stress. Distress is inevitable, and reasonable levels of eustress should be encouraged. My mentor Alan Weiss, who penned the foreword of my book, Persuasion Equation, is a naval battle expert who often quotes Revolutionary War naval hero John Paul Jones. Here is one of Alan’s favorites:  “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to sail into harm’s way.”

If you want to make to more sales, move up in your organization and hear “yes” more often, you’ll have to sail into harm’s way.

Load yourself with the right kind of stress to help you continue to grow.