Re-defining “Stress” to “Not Stress”

 by: Ritu Thakur   ||  18 April, 2020

Recently I watched the TED Talks with Kelly McGonigal. As a psychologist, she has gone from demonizing stress to recommending that we embrace it for the benefits it brings. A big mind-shift change for most of us, if not all of us. She even recommends we closely re-examine what we classify as “stress” versus ‘not stress”.

Dictionary or Webster defines stress as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances”. Traditional mind-set has been to look at stress negatively. We assume it drains us of our focus, our productivity, our health, anything good and positive that we can think off.

Under normal circumstances, the classification of what is adverse to me or demanding for me may not be the same for another person. It is very subjective definition, specific to an individual. For example, even though I have worked primarily remote for last 20 years, with the Pandemic lock down, I now have to be on camera all the time. This stresses me. It may not be a big deal to anyone else, but being on the camera first thing in the morning for “not a morning person” is jittery.

Let’s start with Kelly’s first recommendation. What if we looked at it differently and developed a more expansive perspective? Looked at it as a new story to explore and took on the challenge.

Given the need for being on camera, I explored some new looks in my case. I decided to record them as they were fun. This activity then transitioned to video recording of fun family and team zoom meetings.   One thing led to another, and the net result is all the camera time and videography experience now has my Rockstar team building videos for some of our small business clients.   Videos evidently are the everywhere and currently equivalent of the jar of Windex in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Moral of the story is yours to choose.

  1. Re-define your stressors. Can you have fun with them instead?
  2. Be open to new experiences. The progression from on-camera to video soundbites, and now client videos, is something I could not have predicted 4 months ago.
  3. Make the most of the next chapter of your unpublished story. We all have new paths to explore and journeys to experience.
  4. Find the positives in your all experiences. It is possible!
  5. But most of all, learn to live and laugh in this crisis because it is possible.

Should you want to get a few laughs, reach out! Happy to share some of those earlier videos with you for giggles!

But most of all, stay safe, healthy and engaged!  Best Regards, Ritu Thakur

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