Anytime you have low expectations for performance, you tend to sink down and meet those low expectations. Self-affirmation is a way to neutralize that threat.

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  • Positive stress mindset: recognizing that stressful challenges can sharpen your focus, strengthen your motivation, and offer opportunities for growth.
  • Negative stress mindset: viewing stress as unpleasant, debilitating and negative.

Those who believe in the potential benefits of stress are less prone to feeling stressed in the wake of difficult life events. 

If you do have a negative stress mindset, there are ways to turn it around.

When put under time pressure, people tend to act more like themselves: selfish people tend to act more selfishly than usual, while pro-social people behave even more pro-socially.

But time pressure can also improve decision-making because it forces people to make tough decisions.

Sending a text to a partner confronted with a difficult task really can make them feel more supported.

When you're under psychological pressure, being reminded that there's someone out there who really cares for you seems to be more helpful than receiving targeted advice.

  • being deliberately focused on the task in hand
  • maintaining intense effort over a period of time
  • feeling high arousal levels
  • not thinking about the negative consequences of failure.

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RELATED IDEAS

High-pressure moments as a (fun) challenge

Most people see "pressure situations" as threatening, and that makes them perform even less well. 

But, "when you see the pressure as a challenge, you are stimulated to give the attention and energy needed to make your best effort." 

To practice, build "challenge thinking" into your daily life.

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IDEAS

Psychotherapy Misconceptions

People do form conceptualizations of psychotherapy based on media portrayals.

While you may balance out fictionalized, sometimes-damaging depictions of professionals like physicians or teachers with your real-life experience with them, most people don’t have much or any experience with mental health professionals to balance out their fictionalized impressions.

We become stressful or anxious while packing for a trip, due to us going out of our comfort zone, or in front of uncomfortable and different people.

Our previous good (or bad) travel experience also comes in play.

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