Do you ever sit down and think:
“Maybe I need a little more stress in my life?”
Most people are fed up with it. But the more I learn about stress, the more I realize its potency in maximizing performance.
Stress might be better described as cognitive arousal.
In 1908 psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson performed a set of experiments on mice.
Using mild shocks, they taught the mice to learn tasks and adopt habits more quickly.
They hypothesised that as cognitive arousal is increased, the ability to perform tasks and form habits would increase.
However, this was only true up to a certain point, later referred to as the optimal level.
Beyond that point, as the strength of the shocks was increased, the ability of the mice to learn tasks diminished due to the excess mental overhead of trying to avoid the shock while simultaneously attempting the task.
There is a small amount of cognitive stress we can undertake that actually improves our performance.
It’s the little buzz in the back of your head when confronted with a stimulating challenge that makes you sit up and pay attention.
Here's the original post:
I've already written a bit about this in my newsletter, but I've been collecting a LOT more studies and data, and am considering running on a workshop about how to make stress work for you.
Just trying to make the scientific data digestible and useful.