Academics and Stress
Do you ever have those days where you think you’ll never get all your work done? Do you find yourself so stressed out that you can’t even think anymore? Or perhaps you experience the opposite. You don’t stress and then find you still don’t get your work done? Wondering why? Stress can have negative and positive influences on your performance, not only academically, but athletically as well. Take a look at the Stress Continuum below to learn more about this!
In a little more detail, adrenaline is a good hormone that allows your body to perform at an optimal level. When your body is flooded with it your performance usually sores!! This is the good level of stress that you feel and it falls in the middle of the continuum. Here your performance is higher because the amount of pressure or stress that you are feeling is at such a level that you are able to focus on the task at hand. While you aren’t stressed to the point that you can’t focus, you are dedicated and concentrated to the point that boredom doesn’t occur either. This is the point where the work flows easily, and time flies by!
When the drive to perform or do well is low, you may find your performance lower. This is the left hand side of the continuum. This lack of incentive to perform doesn’t produce the energy we need for optimal performance.
When the incentive and drive to do well is very strong, you may also find your performance to be lower. This is usually because your desire to perform is so strong that it interferes with your performance. This is because your attention and focus is lost to negative thoughts and you usually experience burnout due to an overproduction of the stress hormones. This is usually where our definition of stress lies…
Stress: A mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression. (dictionary.com)
Check out some of these links to learn more about performance and stress:
New studies of human brains show stress may shrink neurons (Original Article written by Sapolsky, R.M. et al, 2000 in Endocrine Reviews)
Performing your best when it counts the most! - Kyle Kepler