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Almost everyone, everywhere experiences stress. Stress cuts through cultures, genders, and economic positions – neither the rich nor the poor are immune, and the young are just as susceptible as the old. It’s the singular theme that emerges from every meeting in the diverse countries where I lecture. Stress has become the number one obstacle to life satisfaction. But here’s the surprising thing: stress, itself, is not the enemy! In reality, positive stress is the key to growth because it drives and motivates us. For a muscle to grow, it must experience stress, which stimulates and steers performance to help us achieve our targets. The real enemy is the lack of recovery.
Stress is simply the release of adrenaline in the body in response to a trigger. Of course, major negative life stressors, such as loss and trauma, cause “bad stress” while positive stress can help us grow. Positive stress boosts determination and ambition, enabling us to reach goals, achieve targets and get ahead with life. However, we shouldn’t allow the daily grind of work and life commitments to push us into overwhelming overload and exhaustion.
The constant expectations, demands and deadlines may lead to depletion and burnout. This is because we’re not designed for continuous, sustained performance. We’re most productive when we move between expending energy and intermittently renewing our energy. Very short intervals of effective energy renewal are vital during the workday, along with longer periods of rest outside of work. Managing your stress can help prevent burnouts so here are six ways to make stress work for you:
We may have resigned ourselves to the fact that stress, fatigue, and exhaustion are simply parts of life in the 21st century. The good news is that we can enhance and sustain performance by changing our mindset and making stress work for us, as well as maintaining a nutritious diet and implementing of some of these simple strategies.
Dr. Linda Friedland is a medical doctor, media personality, best-selling author of seven books and sought-after international speaker. She is an authority on executive and corporate health, women’s wellbeing, as well as stress management, resilience, and performance.
With a professional career of more than 20 years in clinical medicine and over a decade of healthcare advisory and consulting, Dr Friedland is a leading authority on health and performance. She is an international advisor to many of Fortune and Forbes' top global companies, and she designs and implementshealth, lifestyle, and disease prevention programs. A highly-rated international speaker for numerous global organizationsand an author of several books, she has spoken in more than 30 countries in the past few years. She travels frequently to deliver keynotes and consult for corporations throughout Asia, North America, Europe, South Africa, and Australia. Linda consults on corporate health andwellbeing as well as women’s health, leadership and performance.
She is also advisory board member for several international healthcare companies including the Shanghai-based JUCCE (Joint US–China Collaboration on Clean Energy) and the China —A New Way to Eatinitiative: a project of the World Economic Forum.
Dr. Friedlandresides mostly in Australia and is married to Peter, a surgeon. She is a mother of five.