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Tips for Controlling Stress for Peak Performance

Aug 7, 2008
Did you know that stress is important to peak performance? It's true. Not enough stress and you're bored and unmotivated. Too much stress and you can't function. The trick lies in finding just the right balance to stay active and productive without feeling overloaded.

A good amount of stress results in motivation to do your best, motivation to try hard, excitement about a challenge, calling upon resources (such as courage, organization, self-reliance) you didn't know you had, etc. Too much stress results in irritability, anger, depression, rumination, destructive fantasies, poor concentration and memory, insomnia, and other negative effects.

For peak performance, you want enough stress to keep from being bored but not so much that you feel overwhelmed. Here are some tips to keep an optimum level of stress for peak performance.

Tip #1: Check your stress level throughout the day and ask yourself if you need to be more relaxed or more energized. Just being conscious of how your body feels can provide clues on increasing relaxation. Do you need to breathe? Sit down? Stretch? Eat? Sleep?

Tip #2: Learn to view change as positive. Sometimes we cause ourselves stress by resisting change. Life equals change. Resistance is futile. If you learn to make change work for you, you'll see your stress level decrease while seeing your quality of life increase.

Tip #3: Take a deep sigh. Sometimes we don't realize we've stopped breathing when we're anxious. Taking a deep sigh forces you to take in a deep breath of oxygen to feed the cells of the body and to exhale completely all of the carbon dioxide in your lungs.

Tip #4: Ask yourself, "Will I care about this 10 years from now?" If the answer is yes, then go for it. However, too much stress can narrow your focus on situations and make them bigger than they really are. This is what leads to poor decisions. Gaining perspective on a situation can modify its importance and allow you to see options you may not have seen before.

Tip #5: Scan your body by focusing your attention to it. Begin with your head and move down to your feet. If you notice any tension, exhale and release the tension. Consciously releasing tension from your body can give you an immediate feeling of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Tip #6: Stop and experience the moment. We're constantly rushing through life seldom stopping to enjoy the moment. Being present allows you to slow down your mind and your body, appreciate what's going on around you, and become centered and focused.

It's only through awareness that we learn what it takes for each of us to achieve peak performance.
About the Author
I have been helping people reach their personal and professional goals for the past 14 years. There's nothing more satisfying than helping someone reach their potential for success. I would like the opportunity to help you reach your goals. I am a Professional Coach with a Ph.D. in Psychology and a specialty in Goal Achievement and Transitions. Check out my website: www.ParamountTransitions.com then call me for a free consultation.
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