You are hardwired to overcome stress.
Your adrenal glands produce several hormones. When our body experiences stress, it releases adrenaline, also known as epinephrine. It is the hormone that triggers our stress response, the “fight or flight”.
But what does adrenaline do? The hormone increases your blood supply to all major organs and helps boost your mental concentration. When we are faced with a difficult situation, adrenaline enables us to overcome and conquer the stressor.
When you choose your “adrenalized” life, you embrace the opportunity to overcome and conquer your stress. You have the support of your body and its hardwiring, the chemical components required to help you succeed.
Continuous exposure to stress leads to increased epinephrine release, which will make you more anxious. This constant exposure is damaging because it is always in response to a stressor. We must moderate that response to reduce our anxiety and learn to only activate our adrenaline in a positive way, to feel motivated and excited for the road ahead.
Here are four steps to help you use your adrenaline and enhanced mental concentration to conquer your stress:
1. Focus on the goal.
When our “fight or flight” has been activated, our goal is to seek safety. When you are overwhelmed by your fears and anxieties, ask yourself, “What is my goal? What will make me feel safe?”
Once you’ve determined your goal, you can figure out what steps you need to take to escape the situation. It helps to work backwards… For example, when working with clients who are burnt out or stressed from work, I’ll ask,“Where do you want to be in the next 90 days?”
This question helps us set our sights on what we want within a specific timeframe.
2. Take a minute to breathe.
When faced with panic or stress, we often forget to breathe. Breathing helps us calm down and think more clearly. In a stressful moment, I like to take a few deep breaths before I begin figuring out the solution to the situation.
It may seem like I am writing in contradiction. Slowing down versus living “adrenalized,” which speeds everything up. Yes, it’s true. It’s because when I think of adrenaline, I think of excitement, thrill, and a motivation for life. But to achieve this adrenalized life we must sometimes take a minute to breathe and slow down to optimize the benefits.
3. Develop possible solutions.
When we feel threatened or unsure of the road ahead, stress blinds us to the solutions and possibilities. Use your increased concentration to develop solutions. Solutions provide sight to our future.
If we adopt a solution-driven mindset, we can be confident that we will figure things out in any situation. We can accept any challenge. Adrenaline equips us to develop options and courses of action.
What is the next step you need to take?
4. Take action.
The enemy of action is inaction. Use your adrenaline to act. It is designed for that purpose. To fight or flee…these are actions. If you have used your adrenaline to accomplish the previous three steps outlined here, then the last thing to do is act.
Action leads to safety. It leads to a place without stress and worry. When we act, we solve our problems. When fear paralyzes us, we risk increased exposure to stress and epinephrine which leads to more anxiety. The antidote to anxiety is taking action.
You will have the energy you need to act if you focus on your goal, take time to breathe and develop possible solutions. We are hardwired to overcome our stressors by using the chemicals produced by our bodies in both positive and negative ways. Choose your adrenalized life by capitalizing on the benefits of your adrenaline rush.
Tom Marino is a coach, speaker, and author. After a period of personal transformation, he
founded Monarch Life Coaching, LLC to help high achievers navigate seasons of transition by
recognizing the power of their choices. His book, Bridge to Change, documents the simple
process of change and transformation that he utilizes with his coaching clients. Marino works
with executives and professionals all over the U.S. to help them overcome burnout and live
adrenalized. Connect with Tom by visiting www.tommarino.com, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.