The fine art of stress

Be stressed when it matters.

I’m late. Fog has closed in on my destination and the plane won’t take off for a few hours. I hate being late because I believe timeliness is a sign of respect. Timeliness contributes to better productivity of all.

I hate being late but now I am not stressed about the long delay.

Constructive stress

I feel stress about being late up until I begin my journey. That is constructive stress. Stress makes sure I am doing all I can to start on time. Good stress is a motivator to make change, to act and to get going.

Pointless stress

However, once I begin a journey I know it will take the time it takes, especially if it involves planes, trains or automobiles beyond my control. Sitting at an airport waiting for a flight, stress is not a constructive experience. Nothing I can do will change how soon I arrive. Once I mitigate the consequences of my lateness, I can rest in peace. For the next few hours I will get some work done instead of worrying about travel.

Take control

Bearing stress you can do nothing about is terrible for your health. It is deviating for motivation and performance too. If you experience this, change your circumstances, mindset or find a way to do something constructive.

Remember stress is a consequence of your own thoughts. You are anticipating future bad outcomes. Choose your stress wisely. Be stressed when it matters to your ability to act.