Stress is “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances” says an online dictionary. Although effects of stress is widely accepted as negative and depressive for the subjected individual, recent study shows that if accepted as challenge, moderate stress for a limited period, can generate positive results.
Similar circumstances may be treated differently by different people depending on their preferences, liking and interest. Therefore reading for exam may be stressful for one student but playing football would not be. On the other hand, a professional footballer would experience stress of performance in competition. Emotional strain or tension is generated out of certain circumstances depending on how they are pursued by an individual.
Although some circumstances are stressful for everyone but response can be effectively altered by changing our perception towards stress. When reasonable amount of stress is taken as a challenge, our mind responses positively and performance improves. On the contrary, if the situation is taken as a threat, mind gets blurred and ability to think reduces to a great extent.
A sportsman who faces violent river for rafting deals with the situation differently than a person who is drowning in a less violent river. In the later case, ability to prepare strategy or effectively respond to the situation is diminished because the situation is perceived as a threat.
In case of positively accepting restraining circumstances as an opportunity to perform, physical response of the body would be increased heart rate, release of adrenaline and fast flow of blood in veins but resultingly mind becomes sharper and works for solution more efficienty. While the similar situation, if perceived as a threat or danger, heart rate and blood flow still go faster and adrenaline release excites mind but emotions are negative and mind works to find escape rather than a solution.
As the adverse circumstances are bound to generate ‘flight or fight’ response, training our mindset to evaluate the situation in more positive way would prepare us for accepting challenge and give a fighting response for finding solution in constructive manner. Moreover, after effects of the stressful period will be rewarding and satisfactory rather than horrifying and damaging.
If taken as a challenge, reasonable amount of stress would improve performance and preparedness. It helps in meeting deadlines and concentration remains better throughout the period of stress. However, the stressful situation must be followed by rest and relaxation.