Is Stress Good For Us?

As you may be aware we have recently opened a new personal training studio just a few doors down from our existing studio and this particular project has required a lot of planning and project management from myself!

As the business owner this is fine of course, as a big part of my role is  to develop and grow the business and taking on another studio ticks that box in a big way.

During the last eight weeks I have experienced higher than normal stress levels as the new unit has been refurbished and “re-invented” as a personal training studio with two new treatment rooms and now I am through it and out the other side I feel a real sense of pride and achievement and I have been thinking is some stress good for us?

new Personal training studio at Bodyline Fitness ealing

Turning the rooms on the left into the rooms on the right at our new studio hasn’t happened without a little bit of stress!

 

Now, not  being a Doctor of course this post comes from a personal perspective rather than any scientifically backed up research and I fully accept that I am very lucky to have my health and a family around me so this post is really looking at the day-to-day stress of running a business and keeping up with family life; I’m very much aware that many people in life have much bigger problems than me.

So, what is stress? I’ve seen this definition which I think sums it up nicely : a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.

Personally, for me it’s always been about having so much to do especially in the last few weeks with  running a business, project managing a new branch of the business and trying to be a good husband and father as well. All these things take up physical time and energy as well as a lot of mental headspace.

One of my biggest problems is that I am always very keen to try to please everyone, especially those I work with and this, inevitably leads to problems! However, on those rare occasions that I do manage to tick all the boxes I come home feeling that I have  really achieved something and had a good day and if my wife and daughter are in the same frame of mind then we are onto a winner!

I’m very sure I am not alone in “having too much to do” but when I have achieved all, or at least most, of  the things I need to do then I do get a great sense of achievement whether it’s a big or small achievement and I am a big believer in the “small wins” in life.

So, let’s get back to the topic of this post, is stress good for us? Well, i think we could say that some moderate levels of stress can be and, again I am talking from personal experience here and nothing more.

stress at work is a sure sign you need to exercise regularly

It is, of course, important to try to control your stress levels and not let them control you

One thing to bear in mind, I think, is that levels of stress are all relative; what might be a highly stressful situation for one may not be so for another.

I have listed a few reasons why, in my opinion, exposure to some moderate stress may be good for us :

  • Managing and coming through a stressful period can give you more confidence going forward; knowing that you have overcome a problem period once, means that you can take on the next “challenge” knowing you’ve got through it before, even if it is a new experience.
  • You may well gain confidence and knowledge so that if you go through a similar situation again you will be much better prepared and be able to see any potential pitfalls.
  • You could also learn some new skills along the way; again, on a personal level, I have put myself under some considerable pressure to learn more about marketing so i am able to work on this side of my business rather than pay someone else to do it.
  • If you never go through a stressful period you may not know what you are capable of in life! You may surprise yourself with what you are able to achieve when under a little bit of pressure
  • Short term stress can bring success! I have had several clients over the years who have put themselves under pressure to take on extra learning/studies either for their career or just for their own personal reasons. Whilst the stress is always quite high during their studies, ultimately passing the exams always leads to success whether it be a better job, career development or just personal satisfaction.

Do you have any personal examples of where a stressful situation or period of time has lead you to success, no matter how small, in life?

Have you managed to progress and come through this situation and looked back on it with pride?

As always I would love to hear from you either through email or in the comments section in this post.

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