Happiness and Choosing Challenge Over Threat, Part II

Last week we talked about choosing to interpret a stressor as a challenge rather than a threat. The benefits are immediate (your blood vessels stay nice and relaxed; instead of panicking you are more likely to stay calm and act effectively) and long term (chronically high cortisol levels can lead to problems with digestion, metabolism, endocrine and mental function, high blood pressure, hyperglycemia, loss of bone density, and a suppressed immune response; emotionally you feel constantly stressed). But how do we look at stressors as challenges?

This week’s skill is a cognitive one. First, decide you’re going to view this stressor as a challenge. Don’t try to talk yourself into it, just decide to do it. Then ask yourself these questions:

1. How does this situation challenge me?

2. How can I rise to the challenge?

3. How will I benefit from doing that?

You’re waiting for your job interview to start. Instead of wondering if you have what it takes and stressing out about how bad it would be if you bombed the interview, you decide to view it as a challenge and have this thought process: 1. “This situation challenges me to market myself, which is hard for me.” 2. “I can make good eye contact, connect my strengths with the company’s needs, and ask questions that demonstrate good critical thinking.” 3. “Even if I don’t get the job, practicing those things will make me better at all of them which will help me in future job interviews and other situations where I need to market myself. It’ll also help my confidence and self-esteem.”

This will help you get into a challenge mindset. Next week watch what happens when you assume a power pose!

Next week: power poses