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© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button.  World Rights Reserved.

Photo by Microsoft

Photo by Microsoft

Do you want to enjoy your life more? Would you enjoy things more if you had more energy? Life today is filled with stress that most of us cannot avoid. Many people are very tired or sick from constant “stress,” and they know it. Others have stress they may not recognize but which is the beginning of high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, cancer, diabetes, and other expensive health problems. Energy, wellness, and stress are intimately connected. If you would like to start experiencing less stress and more energy and wellness, read on.


Here is a trick question: do you think you would get more out of life if you had less stress? Most would say yes. But not all stress is the same. There is negative stress and there is positive stress. Negative stress is sometimes known as distress, and positive stress has been called eustress. It’s the negative stress that steals your energy! Webster’s New World Dictionary says stress is “strain; specifically force that strains or deforms; mental or physical tension; urgency, pressure, etc., causing this.” Does that sound too familiar? It is the frustration, disappointment, and resistance that wear us down and help us feel bad: the too-long task list, the difficult people, the bad breaks, the information we get that is different than what we want. We call the latter “bad news.”


In contrast, positive stress gives you energy, good feelings, and health. Does positive stress sound like an oxymoron? It’s also known as “stimulus,” “fun,” “creativity,” “excitement,” and even “adventure.” This is the set of positive forces that work, or that we operate, in our lives to shape desired outcomes in ourselves, our days, our careers, our relationships.


Imagine comparing the winning Lotto numbers with the ticket in your hand and finding that the numbers match. Your heart rate picks up and races, just as in negative-stress reactions. Your underarms and hands may sweat. Maybe you feel lightheaded or your stomach feels strange. Guess what? These are the same symptoms as when you got that audit announcement with a $5000 tax bill from IRS! Only this time, with positive stress, you have endorphins, compounds your brain releases that reduce pain and make you feel wonderful. You have a jump in DHEA, the master hormone. Your sense of well-being goes up sharply. Now you have the chemistry of happiness supporting the factual good news. You have just experienced an extreme dose of positive stress.


Now here is the super news: you can deliberately add positive stress to your life to counter negative stress. Get vigorous exercise. Set up rewards for yourself for meeting goals. Join fun competitions like playing softball or board games or Nintendo. Each of these requires commitment and effort and therefore is a stressor, but a positive one with great rewards. Tired of fighting the monster called Stress? Take a break from the concept of monster fighting. Save that resistance effort and add positive stress to your day and your life. The negative stress will seem—and be—much less potent. You’ll have more energy, feel better, and have a new investment in wellness. Start now!


● Kebba Buckley Button is a corporate stress management trainer and the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, and the 2012 book, Peace Within:  Your Peaceful Inner Core.  She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister.

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● Reach the writer at kebba@kebba.com .