Blog written by recruiter Koreena Geisler-Wagner.

Stress. Whether the word be used in response to someone asking how you’re doing or to describe a particular environment/task you’ve been exposed to, it’s one of those words that we tend to throw around quite frequently. As Dr. Travis Bradberry discusses in his article “10 Ways Smart People Stay Calm,” stress is an “absolutely necessary emotion.” We need to feel some level of stress in response to a situation in order to take the necessary action– it’s how we’re wired biologically.

The difficult task we’re faced with on a daily basis is maintaining a nice, healthy balance between “motivating stress” and “overwhelming stress.” Dr. Bradberry provides ten suggestions to keep stress levels low without completely eradicating the motivating benefits of this emotion, many of which are utilized by society’s highest-performing individuals. Some of our favorites include:

  • Taking time to appreciate what one has while avoiding “what if” questions about future unknowns.
  • Disconnecting or “unplugging” from the technology that constantly ties you to stressful work environments or situations– even if it’s only a quick break.
  • Limiting caffeine intake to limit the body’s adrenaline levels and perceived “fight or flight” response.
  • Breathing. When faced with overwhelming situations sometimes taking a moment to focus solely on the rhythmic intake and exhale of breath will help calm the mind and allow one to approach the stressor with a level-headed perspective.

Photo: “Keep Calm and Carry On” by, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License.