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Can Eustress Improve Your ROL?

Not all stress is bad stress.

 

While there's overwhelming medical evidence that negative stress can cause significant physical and emotional damage, "eustress" can energize and inspire us to meet surmountable obstacles. In fact, if you attempt one of these three challenges, you might actively cultivate eustress that leads to personal development and a greater Return on Life.

 

1. Set a challenging goal at work.

 

We tend to think of stress as something we should avoid at work. But without stress, your 9-to-5 can turn into a monotonous grind. Some of your most satisfying work experiences probably came as you managed a stressful situation, such as assisting with a complicated customer service issue or meeting a deadline.

 

Rather than waiting for the next fire to test your professional skills, set a goal and challenge yourself. Identify an area in your career where you would like to improve. Challenge yourself to create a new project or push an existing project across the finish line ahead of schedule. Look for ways to collaborate with coworkers in departments that don't normally overlap with yours. Identify a role higher in the organization that you'd like to have one day and start working towards that via training or online courses.

 

2. Try a new or more difficult workout.

 

If your current exercise routine isn't producing or maintaining the kinds of results it once was, it's possible that your body has adapted to your workout. "Plateauing" in this manner is very common, even if you work out regularly and maintain a healthy diet.

 

Eustress could help you start climbing the mountain again. Start by thinking about your overall fitness goals, and how making a change could help you achieve them. For example, many older adults stop lifting weights because they're worried about injury and focus instead on heart-healthy exercise like running. But if longevity is the goal, maintaining a healthy muscle mass can be very important for seniors who want to avoid household injuries and stay mobile. Challenging yourself with some light lifting, and increasing incrementally, could give your total wellness a meaningful boost. Or, if your plateau is due to exhaustion or boredom, try something completely new that you'll be excited about when it's time to hit the gym, like yoga, martial arts, sports, or tai chi.

 

3. Travel to some place you've never visited.

 

We all have those beloved vacation destinations that we look forward to visiting year after year. But too much familiarity can take some of the shine off of your leisure time. If you just let routine dictate how you spend your time away, you might be settling for trips that don’t live up to your memories. It might be time to let go of a lakeside cabin that’s fallen into disrepair, a theme park that hasn’t kept pace with entertainment trends, or a restaurant whose new owners have made too many changes to the old menu.

 

And if your go-to vacation spot does still delight you, couldn’t you use a little bit more of that feeling throughout the year?

 

Use travel apps, ChatGPT, and recommendations from more seasoned travelers to help you meet the eustress of an unfamiliar journey. Build some flexibility into your itinerary so that you can wander off the beaten path. If you have a few weeks’ worth of vacation days built up, or if you’re retired, consider “slow travel” and try living like a locale for an extended period of time.

 

Our Life-Centered Planning process is designed to take the bad stress out of managing your money so that you have the resources you need to meet eustress head-on. Let’s discuss any financial worries that are stressing you out. Our interactive tools and expertise could help you feel more in-control of your money and more confident about your financial goals.

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