The Goldilocks Principle of Stress and Anxiety - Deepstash
The Goldilocks Principle

Just like the fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, where the preferred porridge has to be neither too hot nor too cold, and the preferred bed has to be neither too soft nor too hard, we have to find our sweet spot which has the right amount of stress, anxiety, challenge and thrill, while not being paralyzing or life-sucking.

Demanding jobs carry with them worry, stress and anxiety, but not having anything to worry about in a job is also detrimental to our well-being.

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Whether it is the stress that is taken by schoolchildren or workplace challenges, we have to find an optimal level where there is just the right amount of pressure. There is a balance that has to be achieved for stress levels (which comes from external factors) and anxiety (which is usually through our internal thought mechanisms).

Stress to some extent is beneficial as it releases hormones like cortisol in the brain, increasing your performance in the short term while enhancing brain functions.

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  • If we are occasionally stressed out or worry prior to a big presentation, we are well within the healthy levels of anxiety and it can be our motivation as well.
  • If we are unable to sleep at night, have constant health issues or are unable to eat, then we are in the unhealthy stress/anxiety territory and need to take corrective action.

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