Good Stress, Bad Stress: Find Your Sweet Spot

March 5, 2021

We all experience stress on a daily basis, but the amount we experience depends on how well we cope with the various stressors in our lives.

So what exactly is stress? Stress is typically defined as a feeling of emotional or physical tension caused by challenges or demands — whether they’re real or perceived. This could look like an increased heart rate, quickened breathing, sweaty palms or tightened muscles. This is your body’s “fight or flight” response getting you ready to take action. Of course, it’s up to you to choose what happens next.

Here are a few tips to help you identify good versus bad stress and find the perfect balance.

Think It Through

The most obvious way to rid yourself of undue stress is to mentally talk yourself through the situation and assure yourself it is not a threat. Like many DECA members, you may get stressed out before competition. A great way to alleviate this stress is to view the competition as an opportunity to test what you know and to receive valuable feedback. Once you tell yourself this, you can transition nerves and stress to excitement and take your competition to the #NextLevel.

Use Stress as Motivation

As the due date approaches, having stress that your big project for school or DECA event is not as far along as it should be is good stress. This stress will motivate you to put your best foot forward and commit to the project or prepared event. Breaking the project down with smaller deadlines is a way to maintain a healthy level of stress and ensure you have time to perfect the final product!

Talk It Out

Remember that you are not alone; everyone gets stressed. Sometimes simply reaching out to a friend or mentor and talking about your stressors can help to alleviate them. Something that I always do before competing is chat with my friends and fellow competitors. Breaking the silence prevents me from overthinking the situation.

I hope these tips will help you to manage your stress levels and have the most successful DECA year yet!

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