make stress your friend

Positive Thinking

YourAttitudeThursday, September 13th was Positive Thinking Day. I meant to post that same day but I got caught up in other things. This week also had World Suicide Prevention Day, and it was the 17th year since 9/11. I had many mixed feelings throughout the week. Each day was meaningful in it’s own way, but in this post I want to address Positive Thinking Day, after all the name of my blog is Positive Aggressive.

I’m a total dork when it comes to stuff like this. I was announcing it at work, addressing it in emails, telling whoever I could. I strive to make everyday positive thinking day, but there are times when I fall short, and that’s okay. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was having some really negative days a few weeks ago. I was feeling so overwhelmed at work, I was having panic attacks to the point where I felt like I couldn’t breath. My chest felt like it was caving in and my heart was racing. It was not a good time. I remember texting my boyfriend, telling him that I wanted to quit. He quickly reminded me that any job is going to come with it’s fair share of stressors. It’s no coincidence that the very same day his professor had his class watch a Ted Talk on how to make stress your friend, I will share the link below. I didn’t watch the video right away. I’ve also mentioned before that sometimes I like to sit in my shit.

When I did finally take 15 minutes to watch Dr. Kelly McGonigal explain how she’d been telling people the wrong information for 10 years; Stress is bad for your health. That if we learn to make stress our friend and get excited instead of anxious it can make a huge difference. It took a few more stressful work days and a weekend to decide to put her advice into practice.

Let me tell you how the following 2 weeks have been for me at work. I have felt so much lighter, I haven’t had an anxiety attack, I’ve been happier. The stress still remains, but my attitude has shifted. It’s taken a lot of conscious effort to create this new habit, but after a few days of working on this it feels like it’s slowly starting to feel natural. I’ll catch myself in the same situation that used to make my heart pound and my palms sweaty, but now I feel cool, calm and relaxed.

Dr. McGonigal talks about turning stress into a positive – using it as a motivating factor in tackling your tasks. When we view stress as a negative that is where the problems lie. There’s a study that she speaks about how people who think that stress negatively impacts their health were likely to pass away at a much higher rate than people who believed stress didn’t negatively impact them. It really is fascinating how our brains work and how our mind and bodies believe what we tell them.

I just finished a chapter in the book, You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start living an Awesome Life. The chapter focuses on positive thinking and affirmations, and not in a corny self help way either. These can truly change your life, I wish I could tell you that I use affirmations everyday, I don’t. I am going to start incorporating them into my life again, because I’ve reached another transformative point in my life and affirmations help me ease into the transformation.

I remember when I was first practicing self love and forgiveness. I used the old post it note suggestion. I put messages up like “I love you” “You’re worth it” “I forgive you” “I am happy joyous and free”, etc. I can’t tell you how positive the impact was for me. It really does work when you believe in it.

Think of one affirmation you can start repeating in your life to help make an impact. I’m going with Jen Sincero’s suggestion of “I am one with the Universe. The Universe is awesome and so am I”.


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