Stress and fear are often classified as negative emotions, but as licensed psychologist Dr. Alexandra Bodden points out “all emotions are important.”
Dr. Bodden says when we experience fear it’s our body’s way of raising the alarm to perceived threats. Stress on the other hand is a build up of anxiety in anticipation of a future event. Both emotions activates our adrenaline, and amps up our body to get ready for change. Dr. Bodden says this is a reaction we can use to our advantage.
If you are able to ready an optimal level of stress it creates movement, when gets us to make a change that can help us reach our optimal performance. Dr. Bodden notes that when there is not enough stress we aren’t motivated to make a change, and where there is too much stress it impairs our performance.
The keep to reaching the optimal level of stress is to know yourself. If you ten to be more of worrier Dr. Bodden encourages you to lean coping skills that will help you keep your cool. If you are on the other side of the spectrum, and are less concerned, creating more structure, like shorter deadlines, can be helpful to increase your motivation.