Learning to Love and Leverage Your Stress
This guest post is by Tiffiny Fambro, founder of Build Body Wealth. I met Tiffiny at a conference where she was presenting a workshop on transformative stress. I feel like everyone could use some transformation in the area of stress, so I asked her to share with us some of her knowledge and experience on turning stress into your friend, not your foe!
Per my usual schedule, I got up early around 6am, got dressed, drove to my job at an international consulting firm and went into my private office. I closed the door, sat at my desk, and silently cried. That was the moment I knew my stress was eating me alive.
I was not crying because I hated my job, I was crying because I had reached the breaking point of overwhelm. I was overwhelmed with the amount of work I had to do in my corporate career, I was overwhelmed with my draining and toxic marriage, and I was overwhelmed with the extra 40 pounds of weight I was physically carrying on my frame. Anxiety and depression were getting the best years of my life and the stress from all of those elements had become debilitating. I felt like I was crumbling on the inside.
That was 7 years ago, and since then my life has completely changed. I made a decision to take control of my life by taking control of my stress.
Many people that I have talked to over the years have expressed that they have felt the exact same way. Feeling like their lives are so overwhelming and not understanding how to handle the stress, they ask me to give them ideas on how to eliminate stress. However, I don’t believe that stress should be eliminated. I have come to realize that we do need stress; we just need to understand how to stay in what I call, “the sweet spot” of stress. Stress is the process by which your mind and body responds to sudden change; it’s a normal part of life. There can be positive stressors that cause excitement, joy and motivate you to make a change. There can also be negative stressors that may cause anxiety, fear and can lead to physical and mental heath issues.
We as human beings need a little stress to push us to challenge ourselves and move forward with our goals. The extreme stress is when stress is too high and pushes us to the point of physical or mental sickness. The “sweet spot” is that space in between where you have just enough stress to motivate you, but not enough to make you ill or break you down. You know you are there when you feel a little excited and inspired versus nervous and scared.
Here is a quick strategy that I use to get in the sweet spot:
(1) Recognize any condition, person, place or situation that is causing what you perceive as high levels of stress. There are stressors that we cannot anticipate, but there are also stressors that are the same every day. We must take the time to recognize what or who is causing our high levels of stress in order to make necessary changes.
(2) Reframe the situation to see the stress from a different perspective. For example, see the extreme stress as a major signal for you to make necessary changes to feel better; allow it motivate you to take control of your life; allow it to help you see the lesson that you needed to learn in order to feel happier.
(3) Realign yourself back to a sense calm of by using simple quick relaxation strategies in the moment. Some examples are deep breathing, going for a walk, or taking a nap. Anything to calm you down and bring your stress down to the sweet spot level again.
Using these strategies helped me to leave my dying marriage and my corporate career to build my own business as a healthy lifestyle coach. I now use these strategies to help my clients move forward and lead happier, healthier, exciting lives. Stress does not have to be seen as the enemy, it can actually be seen as an alley that can propel you forward.
Tiffiny Fambro is the owner of her company Build Body Wealth at buildbodywealth.com. As a healthy lifestyle speaker and strategy coach, she offers keynotes and workshops to companies and organizations on understanding the connection between high performance leadership and optimum health. Giving participants simple health strategies to help them feel physically and mentally stronger, more confident and focused. She also offers online coaching sessions to individuals who want to work with her one on one; guiding them on the steps to creating personal wellness plans that fit their needs.
In her previous life Tiffiny worked as a Public Health consultant for an international corporate company. She used health and wellness to go from being overweight and depressed to becoming an award-winning figure level bodybuilding athlete. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s degree in Public Health Education, and is certified in fitness training.