De-Stress or Distress: You Choose

This seems like such a simple concept to grasp, yet such a difficult one to implement. In our modern lives, we’ve come to expect a certain level of stress. We have stresses when it comes to the world of work, just as we have stress in our personal relationships, stress about our health, and stress about our wealth.

But you have a choice. You always have a choice.

You don’t need to succumb to the painful ramifications of stress. Instead of choosing the path of distress, you can choose the path that allows you to de-stress. Since I make my living as a freelance writer, allow me to use a hypothetical example from my professional life.

Let’s say that one of my clients asks me to write an article on the subject of the evolution of the Internet. As I make my way through writing this article, I get stuck on vocabulary choice. My mind is telling me to write “the advent of the Internet,” but I’d rather use a different word than advent. I could choose the path of distress, racking my brain for an alternative term… or I could just use “advent” and move on.

More often than not, I do my best not to sweat the small stuff. So long as the rest of the article is well-written and informative, little word choice elements like this really don’t matter. I can get the job done, the client can be happy, and we can move on to the next project.

Certainly, there is a productive kind of anxiety. Stress can lend itself to great personal and professional growth. The pressure of a timeline can motivate you to work more efficiently and more quickly. However, in the long run, stress can have a profoundly negative impact, both physically and mentally.

You do have a choice. You don’t need to be the damsel (or dude) in distress. You can take a moment, take a breath, and choose to de-stress instead. We all deserve a break sometimes.