How to Turn Stress into a Benefit


Small business owners seem to have more than their fair share of stress, and as we take that mad dash into holiday season, it seems to increase with every step we take.  That’s life I guess.  Take a deep breath. You’ll push through.  You always do.


Unfortunately knowing that doesn’t decrease the stress brought on by that irate customer, the order screw up, the demanding client, or your best salesman giving notice. Hate to tell you this, but none of that is really responsible for your higher blood pressure, sleepless nights,  or the feeling like you’re going to burst if one more thing happens.


While we have techniques to help you manage stress, and get you through a rough patch, none of them really get at the root cause.  We just treat the symptoms. It helps, especially when you’re in the throes of that heart racing, hand-shaking, can’t think straight sort of automatic reactions you get when your body tells you that you’re sick and not in a good place.


Keep these suggestions in your pillbox and use as needed:


  • Take a ‘time out’
  • Delegate tasks so you don’t have to do it all
  • Refocus on what’s positive. (Go to your ‘happy place’)
  • Remember what you have to be thankful for
  • Cut down on the caffeine and sugar


They’re valid, tried and true methods to help you get some immediate relief.  But they’re not a cure-all, because they don’t deal with the source of the stress.


The answer to that, my friends, is in our heads. Studies have proven that how we look at stress, controls how we react to it.  Like everything else, ‘we are as we think.’  If we believe stress is our ‘enemy’, (and most of us do), our minds and our bodies will react accordingly. If we believe stress is a ‘friend,’  our responses would be totally different – and as a consequence, would contribute to making us healthier, both mentally and physically.


Listen to this wonderful little talk by psychologist Kelly McGonigal as she explores and illustrates how we can use stress to our benefit, to promote better health and well-being, and build confidence, courage and resilience into our daily lives.



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