So much has been written about stress in that past few years that’s it’s practically become a buzzword. If someone stubs a toe, they’re “stressed,” or if they have a bad day, their adrenals are about to give out. In short, media messages about this phenomenon have replaced our collective ability to think for ourselves, or measure what’s actually going on inside our bodies.
Personally, I’d rather not have stressed-out days. I’m sure we all would. But over the past few weeks, I’ve come to think about stress in a new way, perhaps a counter-intuitive way. Today, my first day back after several days spent traveling, getting very little sleep, and worrying about certain aspects of my “performance,” I saw that stress had pushed me farther than I would probably have gone without its presence in my life. I had pushed beyond my perceived boundaries without really thinking about them, and found that they were scary, sure, but also more doable than I might have thought.
So though too much stress, or adding to stress by creating mental or emotional judgments may not be great for us, stress may actually have a positive impact in our lives. Today, I reframed the idea of stress in my life by picturing it not as the heated or even boiling feeling in can be my body, or the buzzy feeling it unleashes in my brain. I saw it as fertilizer sown into the soil. I saw it as light and sun and the slow finger of nature coaxing me on. Releasing the idea of “right” and “wrong” outcomes to my life’s events, I saw the projects, thoughts and ideas I’d worked into the dirt with my intentions begin to sprout, then shoot up and bloom, like magic.