It’s summer and no one likes to think about stress on a Monday morning, but I’m here to talk about happy stress. In your week coming up, your task is to evaluate your stress and where it’s coming from.

What the heck is happy stress? Take a look at Kevin McKeown’s blog post “View Stress as  Helpful to Performance (and Live Longer)“. Here’s the key to the post:

Stress makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

Listening to Kelly changes how you view stress:  

Now that you know what happy stress looks like, what does unhappy stress resemble? I’ve had some personal experience with this. At my previous job, I thought I was relatively happy. Perhaps relatively, because I was doing better stress-wise than many of the people around me. I liked my work and was fairly secure in my position as a contributor to the team. However, day after day, I felt I wasn’t really making a difference and worse was running on a treadmill of producing work that only served to feed the internal political machine, rather than make a difference to my clients and job objectives. It took several of my favorite and super smart colleagues to leave and find happiness elsewhere for me to see that perhaps I could live outside this bad stress bubble and truly be happy.

Gallup estimates that 70 percent of all workers are disengaged from their jobs, costing between $450-$550 billion each year in productivity. So your unhappiness with your job could be not only costing you a fulfilling life, but you’re also less productive

Since starting my (not so) new position at LexBlog, I have more responsibility, more pressure in a small business environment and more “stress” to get it right. However, I couldn’t be happier feeling and seeing that I am making a difference and see the hard work paying off.

Your mission this week: Evaluate, are you good stressed, bad stressed, not stressed at all? In the case of the last one, maybe you’re too complacent and need to get “the fear” back and try something that makes your heart pump and your blood flow. Your happiness could depend on it!

Photo by jetheriot