How to Use Stress for Success
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How about this word I recently heard about? ‘NERVCITED’. I heard about it after sharing an exciting opportunity that I was also nervous about. It perfectly describes a common stressor we can all tap into to change our mindsets on stress for success.

Nervcited. I just love this definition of positive stress that I recognise so well before I do a presentation. Positive stress, also known as Eustress, and its opposite Distress are resilience topics we work throughout many of our programs.  

Eustress vs Distress

Positive stress aka Eustress is a normal part of our everyday life. It’s a type of stress that positively affects us and keeps us going. It has a motivational effect that increases our activity and productivity. It’s the thing that gets you to perform challenging activities and has “nicknames’ like ‘drive’ or ‘mojo’, and some people run on it constantly! Which can be exhausting.

The other type of stress (the negative one) is distress.  We usually refer to it when we are talking about stress in general, and is widely researched, has negative effects on our minds and our health. Distress de-motivates us and increases the tension.

What we know about both of these stressors is that we can have some control over how they affect us if we employ the right mindset. For example, back in my 20’s the thought of speaking in front of even a small group of people would produce a blotchy, red nervousness. These days, however, I regularly speak to hundreds in a room with not a negative nervous flare-up in sight and it is thanks to changing my mindset. (That’s not to say I don’t get ‘nervcited’!)

Mindset: Turning Stress into Success

Learning to develop and strengthen your personal mindset, and helping others around you to do the same, takes time and practice but if you’re consistent with your practice you will get there. This means not only choosing what is easy to do (practice) but also what is easy not to do and making the most of the time that is on your side.

In 2013, Psychologist Kelly McGonigal did a brilliant Ted Talk on How to Make Stress Your Friend. In the fifteen minute talk, she offers great mindset strategies for stress reduction.

I particularly like her end message “go after what it is that creates meaning in your life and then trust yourself to handle the stress that follows” but I also like what she says about creating a biology of courage and how caring is an important element of building resilience.

Empathy, caring and connection through Team Intelligence™ are fundamental elements to building Success Culture and a focus across all of WYE? Programs. Here’s a snippet from an article we wrote on Resilience in Business and How to Cultivate It.

Build Authentic Connections with Others for Resilience

5 dysfunctions of a teamCommunication, the thing we do all the time is a freely available superpower that can transform relationships and reduce stress.  In the workplace, it is almost impossible to avoid stress but effective communication can help build resilience to the type of stress we perceive as negative.  

Let’s look at one of the biggest causes of stress: change. Change, whether at work or in our personal life, positive or negative, generally requires us to adapt the way we think or the way we do. Here are three ways to deal with change:

1> Acknowledging discomfort around the change can help the transition. Ask yourself: What’s your personal response to setbacks and challenges? Does stress cloud your judgement or decision making? Or do you get headaches or fatigue? Do you become agitated or do you want to withdraw from interacting with others?  

Remember that change is a shift in external conditions and transition is your individual response to that change – you control your response!

2> Practice VBA: Take time to Vent about the change; Brainstorm ways to deal with the change and then plan your steps for Action to deal with the change.

3> Encourage open, honest communication by sharing your own experiences.

Here’s the rest of the article which has more great strategies including advice from our chief WYE? Resilience Facilitator, Psychologist Maria Stavrinides.


Understanding stress, including understanding ourselves around stress, can go a long way to help minimise our daily stress and using it to our advantage. But we can go even further than that when we develop our connection with others. We can turn stress into success and even into Success Culture.