Monday Motivation: Get Stressed

If you’re anything like me, you have days when you have tons to do, but still feel bored.  Nothing challenges you, nothing sparks your creative juices.


What if I was to tell you that you weren’t stressed enough?

Now, I’m not talking about that unhealthy stress we all know – you know, the kind that makes your blood pressure soar and makes you grind your teeth.

A while ago I learned that there are two kinds of stress: the unhealthy kind, distress, which I don’t think I need to define here, and the healthy kind, eustress.  “Excuse me?” you say.  “There’s a healthy kind of stress?”

Yes.  Think of it like this – if you never used your muscles, they’d atrophy.  Those are muscles under no stress.  Anyone who’s looked into fitness at all knows you have to put your muscles under a certain amount of stress to build strength.

We all work the same way.  Too much stress, just like with weight lifting, and we buckle under the pressure.  Not enough stress, and our creativity, our productivity, our abilities – all of it loses tone.  In other words, use it or lose it!

Whenever I find myself feeling atrophied, I realize I’m not challenging myself enough.  I need more stress.  So, little by little, I start applying a healthy dose of eustress – learning a new technique, trying a different exercise, making my brain or body work a bit harder.

When I balance myself properly between challenge and rest, that’s when I see my best work coming out.

2 thoughts on “Monday Motivation: Get Stressed”

  1. I love the way that you explained this Erin! I have been doing some pretty strenuous boot camp style workouts lately, so I can definitely relate to the muscle stress analogy. It is so important to balance between working hard and taking rest periods when it comes to your body and your mind. For my work balance I like to see it as a cycle. When things are too busy I want more down time. When things get too slow I want more action/excitement. My biggest challenge is forcing myself to take the down time when I am really in to what I’m working on.

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