I was listening to a clinical psychologist speaking at an event the other day.
I don’t recall who it was or where it was, it may have been on the radio, or on a documentary or a TED Talk, but it was within the past month.
They were speaking about stress.
More like, “STRESS!!!!!”.
Apparently, if you are experiencing stress and think to yourself “I’ve got this, this is easy, I can do that!”, there will be no negative physical impact on your body. No increase in blood pressure, no increase in Cortisol or other stress hormones, nothing.
If you are experiencing stress and think to yourself “Oh my gosh, I’ll never cope, this is awful”, there will be a negative physical impact on your body with elevated blood pressure and an increase in stress hormones.
In ordinary terms,
if you think you are stressed and cannot cope, you will become stressed and won’t be able to cope,
if you recognise there are challenges and roll with it, you will come out the other side with barely a scratch on the paintwork.
Our thoughts determine our actions.
It has dramatically influenced how I am facing some challenges recently and I can state that I feel 98.6% better for having this little nugget under my belt.
I am still human.
I was born in East London, which is code for “very rough and very tough”.
I still find my first response in conflict is to match the conflict.
But as Maya Angelou said, When you know better, you do better.
“The Natural Man” response of becoming impatient or DEFCON 2 status ready, and facing down the conflict still informs my decisions but with this extra piece of information, it no longer has the negative impact that it previously did. I am more swiftly able to move in to phase 2 and fix it and am less likely to get bashed up by it. It is a very powerful place to be. I like it.