Stress is not a fun feeling -- as most people can attest. The anxiety feels like a constant burden, and it makes going through life more troublesome. There is a constant weight in your mind and a nagging voice telling you to worry.

Some of the most successful people are characterized by their ability to handle stress. Not only are they able to effectively and sustainably deal with difficult situations, but they are able to use their stress to propel their efforts.

Here are 8 ways that you can join their ranks and turn your stress into fuel for greatness:

1. Use it as a catalyst for action.

When you feel stressed, it is easy to wallow in your own sorrows without knowing where to start. This just leads to wasted time and even more stress.

Instead, use your stress as a catalyst for action. Doing something is better than nothing. Therefore, use the stress as a driver to get off of your feet and begin working towards improving your situation.

2. Take advantage of your sense of urgency.

When you are stressed, there is a greater sense of urgency. Your responsibilities or the situations at hand are more present in your mind.

Take advantage of that. It can propel you to work harder and more efficiently. When we feel like the world is burning around us (even though it is not!), we have more energy to get things done quickly.

3. Get others to help.

With lots to do, there is a strong case to ask for help. It is not unreasonable to do so given all that you have to handle. Plus, the act of asking can take a huge burden off of you.

With others involved, you will feel less responsible yourself and you will, collectively, get things done quicker. Not to mention that problems and projects are more fun when working with others.

4. Listen to your body and learn from your struggles.

In the midst of being stressed, you should take a step back and analyze the situation. It is when we push ourselves to our limits that we often learn things we would not have realized otherwise.

You can get a sense of what is stressing you out and why it is stressing you out. In these high-intensity situations, our bodies and minds have a lot to share. Listen to those thoughts and learn from them so that you can feel better and be more thoughtful moving forward.

5. Use it as an excuse to exercise.

Exercise is clearly a positive thing. It makes us feel better and keeps us healthier. Use your stress as an excuse to exercise. Working out can calm your mind and make you feel better in difficult situations.

Despite feeling that you might not have the time or ability to work out, doing so will leave you much better off. Therefore, take advantage of your situation and realize that working out is going to be a win-win.

6. View your situation as a challenge.

Look at all that you have to do and navigate as a challenge. You will look back in the future and remember this difficult time and the way that you handled it. Life can be a struggle, and recognizing this can help you deal with the difficulties you face.

Life can also increase your motivation to continue working and striving to accomplish what you are after. When we see a situation as a challenge that we have to complete, it is easier to work hard to accomplish that goal.

7. Document your journey.

Others have previously been in your shoes. Plus, more people will likely face your challenges in the future. Consequently, you should document what you are learning and experiencing. I do this personally with a schedule. Although it might not seem like the most fun or worthwhile thing to do in the moment, it will pay large dividends.

First, documenting what is happening might help you realize things that you did not notice previously. Taking a step outside of your situation to reflect can spark new ideas and ways to solve your problems.

Second, the documentation that you put together could greatly aid others. It could even be to the point where you become an influential or motivational person.

Under this light, documenting your journey makes a lot of sense. You are experiencing something that is not unique to just you. You might as well pay it forward to others so that they can avoid some of your mistakes.

8. Put things into the bigger picture.

Taking a step back from your situation and putting it into the larger picture of life can help relieve the stress that you are feeling. What is the worst that can really happen? We often take things too seriously throughout life. Therefore, by taking a step back, your perspective towards your struggles will change.

All you can do is try your hardest. If things do not work out after that, then it is out of your control. This realization is freeing, and it will allow you to spend less time worrying, and more time focused on doing your best with the tasks at hand.

Published on: Jan 15, 2018