Dan Wold, drummer in our band, school superintendent and national speaker on dealing with stress wrote this article a few months back. It reminds us to aim for the optimal zone – sometimes re-labeling the butterfly feeling in the gut as ‘excitement’ with your mind gives that follow-up feeling of “Yes!! I’ve got this!”
Yes, Dr. Dixon is in a band and we also do conference presentations about how to deal with stress with music interspersed. You can find out more on the ‘band therapy’ page of the website drdixonpsych.com
“Stressing over stress is worse than stress itself.” Kelly McGonigal
Let’s stop thinking of stress as the bad guy. Stress is our reaction to a perceived averse situation. Events are neutral, it is our perception of them and our reaction to them that can be positive or negative for us.
Let’s also remember that some stress seems to be necessary for most people to enter their “Performance Zone.” And, under-stressed has the same symptoms as overstressed (Yerkes and Dodson, 1908).
We are hard-wired for Acute Stress, which has helped us survive in this world for approximately 200,000 generations. Acute stress is that instant physiological response, that rush we get in an emergency, that maximization of our ability to deal with a situation. It’s a good thing!
Eustress, a fancy word for excitement, is the kind of positive stress we get when we see an averse situation over which we believe we have control. It gets us jazzed; another good thing!
“Adopting the right attitude can turn a negative stress into a positive one.” Hans Selye