The Upside of Stress

Success is Climbing a Mountain North Carolina

Scary or exciting?

Are you stressed right now? Check your shoulders – are they tight? How is your breathing – is it short and shallow? Stomach feeling tight?

Many of us don’t take the time to check in and see how we are feeling. Some think that if they stay busy enough, they can bypass any uncomfortable feelings. The problem with this is that our feelings are connected to our thoughts. If we don’t know how we feel, then how do we know we are thinking clearly? If you are stressed, you may decline a great opportunity. You may focus on all the things that could go wrong as opposed to seeing the benefits if you embraced them!

The good news is that each of us has countless opportunities to turn stress into positive action- It begins from within.

In order to evolve, you must be willing to look within and make the time to check-in with yourself. When you feel frustrated or tense, try stepping outside of yourself to gain perspective. Can you perceive this stress differently? What is the upside to this situation? How can you evolve from this?

Stressful situations can kickstart positive changes but only if we are fully aware, willing, and open to see things differently. What you perceive is your reality. If you are coming from a negative place, your reality will match the negativity – and the downward spiral continues.

Research shows employees who have high resilience to stressors will perform better than their low-resilient counterparts – even in a stressful work environment. Having high resiliency is not about “sucking it up and dealing with it.” It has more to do with emotional intelligence in how we view other’s perceptions and our own. It is about feeling the tough feelings in order to move above and beyond them. It is about seeing the bigger picture and focusing on how to evolve from the experience as opposed to feeling stuck and beaten down.

By the way, this picture was taken when I hiked Grandfather mountain in NC. This is a good example of how we perceive situations as some may see this as scary while others see this as exciting. True strength is in your awareness, perception, and your ability to feel and communicate your emotions. Are you up for the challenge?


Shatté, Andrew PhD; Perlman, Adam MD, MPH; Smith, Brad PhD; Lynch, Wendy D. PhD The Positive Effect of Resilience on Stress and Business Outcomes in Difficult Work Environments, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 2017 – Volume 59 – Issue 2 – p 135-140