Take the Wind at Your Back: How to Turn Stress into Advantage in 5 Steps

Stress, pressure and future anxiety have become indispensable in recent years. Perhaps it is easier to get used to these feelings and turn them to advantage, rather than trying to eliminate them. In this content, I tell you how you can turn the stress and pressure on you into productivity.

1) Accept that pressure and stress are part of daily life.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James



Unfortunately, it does not seem possible to completely remove stress from our lives. However, as William James said, it is possible to focus on other thoughts instead of stress. First of all, you need to understand that you cannot manage everything. Let’s say you have a small business and you are trying very hard to grow it and you feel pressure. There is no problem so far, but when your business grows, the stress and pressure will not decrease, maybe even more. All you can do at this point is not focus on stress by changing how you respond to demands.


2) Do not confuse concepts.

“In order to effectively change ourselves, we had to change our perceptions first.” – Stephen R. Covey

We often use stress and pressure interchangeably. But these two concepts are quite different, and as Nicholas Petrie perfectly demonstrates in a story for Harvard Business Review, it is our perception of stress that matters. “Pressure is not stress,” says Petrie. The tendency to overthink can easily lead to depression.



When we feel like we’re thinking too much, it affects our cognitive abilities because stress is always on the alert. It is also known that people under stress are more prone to getting sick, according to a study . But if we can reduce our stress to productive pressure, we can find more opportunities to come up with creative ideas, improve our performance, and adjust our plans in innovative ways. To tap into this potential, we need to educate ourselves to see challenges from a new angle.


3) Change your perspective.

It’s important to keep in mind that many of the problems you face today may not be significant in three years, or even next week. When you feel negative, remind yourself of all the ways you have resolved difficulties in the past. Better still, take note of them. Listing your history of how you overcame difficulties can give you the confidence to take action.




4) Be in control.

Taking time to clear your mental senses by activating them can help you refocus your attention to the “now” and feel more in control. Revitalize your body by taking a brisk walk, clap your hands, or concentrate on what you can hear, touch and smell right now. The goal is to go back to the present moment and pay attention to your surroundings.


5) Allow yourself to disconnect.

As the American writer Anne Lamott put it: “If you unplug for a few minutes, almost everything works again… Including you.” Unplug yourself from the stress socket at least once a month and take a little trip, or turn off all your devices for a few hours every day. Taking time to disconnect from the world is essential for your mental health and overall productivity.




✍️Editor’s Note

Getting lost in worry and pressure does not lead to success, it just consumes you.
Instead, try to build your life around doing good deeds, spending time with loved ones, and living without fear. Then let them be… Or as Sonia Ricotte puts it: “Surrender to what happened. Let go of what happened. Believe what will happen.”

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