Stress is often seen as the enemy of success, but the truth is that a certain level of stress is essential to reach your full potential. 

Just like fire, stress can either be a destructive force or a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals. 

The key is to find the right balance between healthy and unhealthy stress.

Unhealthy stress can lead to a host of physical and mental health issues, including high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and burnout.

On the other hand, healthy stress can help you stay focused, motivated, and energised, allowing you to push yourself to new levels of achievement… without the burnout!

The problem is we’ve become so focused on the negative effects of stress that we’ve forgotten how to use it in a positive way. 

We’re taught to avoid stress at all costs, instead of learning how to manage it in a healthy way. 

But without stress, we would do nothing. It’s the driving force behind our ambitions and the fire that fuels our passions.

What’s the difference between healthy and unhealthy stress? 

Healthy stress is short-term, manageable, and tied to a specific goal. 

It’s the type of stress that motivates us to deliver above and beyond for a client, invest the time in your team development or finish a project on time. 

On the other hand, unhealthy stress is long-term, overwhelming, and not tied to a specific goal. 

This type of stress can quickly spiral out of control, leading to physical and mental exhaustion.

In order to break the hustle culture and do business (and life) in a different way, it’s important to embrace the power of stress, while also taking steps to manage it in a healthy way. 

This can include setting achievable goals, taking breaks when needed, and practicing stress-management techniques like meditation or exercise. 

By doing so, you can harness the power of stress to help you reach your full potential, rather than letting it hold you back.

One thing you can do straight away to make sure you err on the healthy side of stress is to get outside more.

Journalist Florence Williams shares in her book The Nature Fix (a great read btw!) that North Americans spend over 93% of their waking hours indoors or in cars and the other 7% is spent walking between buildings and cars.

Now if that stat doesn’t shock, and perhaps scare you a little, I don’t know what will. 

How much time do you spend outside and connecting to nature? 

One of my fave go-to’s is ‘earthing’. 

Earthing as a modern-day concept has been around since the 1980s and has become somewhat more mainstream in recent years. It’s all about connecting to nature by walking barefoot. 

Author Lyanda Lynn Haupt say’s that ‘shoes put little blind folds on our soles’. 

Research suggests that earthing balances our bodies’ positive ionic charge, helping to prevent inflammation, reduces pain, calms anxiety and promotes better sleep*… uuuuumm this sounds to me like a great way of reducing unhealthy stress! 

So whether you decide to put your bare feet on the grass, do a mindful walk with no AirPods or partake in some deep breathing exercises, what I really want you to remember is that stress can be a powerful tool, or a destructive force, depending on how you use it.

As you continue to break the hustle culture and strive for a different way of doing business, embrace the power of stress and manage it in a healthy way.

This is how you can unleash your full potential and achieve your goals, while truly living life to your fullest. 

*Source: Rooted (Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature and Spirit) by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (referencing Earthing – The Most Important Health Discovery Ever!)

Nicky is a Sales and Business Leadership Coach with over 2 decades experience in sales and leadership. She’s been running successful coaching businesses since 2015 and is obsessed with helping business owners and teams thrive. She helps her clients install smart business growth strategies and leverage leadership for peak performance.

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