Research shows that we NEED stress to reach peak performance. In short, stress is good for our performance so long as it is not too severe and doesn’t go on too long.
Research also shows that stress that goes on too long decreases your cognitive abilities. So those people who are able to control their stress levels are most likely to work at their peak performance.
Here is a list from a cognitive researcher of the top 10 traits of successful people in dealing with stress.
- They appreciate what they have.
Thinking about what you’re grateful for reduces cortisol output by 23 percent.
- They avoid asking “What If?”
Any situation can have innumerable possible outcomes. Any time you spend thinking about the ones you didn’t choose is time you aren’t spending dealing with the issues at hand.
- They stay positive.
This is a conscious choice. You have to decide to point your mind toward something positive rather than dwell on negatives.
- They disconnect.
Your brain needs time to stop working on immediate problems to have time to deal with long-term creativity problems.
- They limit their caffeine intake.
Drinking caffeine releases adrenaline, which puts your body AND mind into a hyper-aroused state. As long as that caffeine is pumping through your system, your stress level is higher.
- They sleep.
Self-control, attention and memory all suffer when you don’t get enough sleep. Lack of sleep also raises cortisol levels.
- They squash negative self-talk.
Write down your negative thoughts and compare them to the facts. More likely than not, your thoughts are exaggerated.
- They reframe their perspective.
You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how your respond to events. Put whatever is causing you stress in perspective.
- They breathe.
Focus on your breathing to put yourself in the moment.
- They use their support system.
Ask for help when you need it. That may be asking someone to take some of your responsibilities. It also may be just asking someone to listen to your concerns.
We all want to think we handle stress well. Compare yourself to these 10 traits and see how many of them apply to you.
Are You an Unhappy Dentist?
Do you consider yourself a happy or unhappy dentist? Not right now necessarily, but generally. Would you say you are, overall, a happy or unhappy person?
It makes sense to say that dealing with stress well leads you to more happiness. But what is the flip side to that? Are there traits of generally unhappy people?
According to a recent blog there are. But before we go on to the list, you might have asked yourself, “What does this have to do with web marketing?”
Your attitude, what makes you happy and unhappy, what you WANT out of your life help determine how we market your business. You have to know what MAKES you happy or unhappy.
Here is the list of seven traits of unhappy people:
- You think you are a victim in your life rather than taking responsibility for it.
This keeps you from making the changes necessary to improve your outlook.
- You focus on the few things that go wrong rather than everything that goes right.
This causes you to lose perspective.
- You think most people can’t be trusted.
Awfully hard to make new relationships this way.
- No matter what you have, someone else has more – and you’re jealous.
This stops you from enjoying the good fortune of others, and appreciating your own.
- You’re too invested in your plans.
Any loss of control, unexpected events or surprises turn your world upside down – and the world, as they say, is full of surprises.
- You fear and dread the future.
This can cause you to miss opportunities to change your situation.
- You live in the past and are happy to complain about it.
The problem: Positive successful people want to be around other positive, successful people.
Do you see these traits in yourself? Not just every now and then, of course, as we all have our bad moments. But if you see yourself regularly displaying several of these traits, you are going to have to make an effort to improve your happiness.
It’s not going to find you; you have to create it.