Looking at stress in a different light

When you are the executive director of an organization that emphasizes the importance of having a conversation, presentations are inevitable.

Adelle Stewart, executive director of the Do More Ag Foundation, says that whether she speaks in front of an audience of five or 500, she’s just happy to have people to have the conversation with.

Stewart was at Crop Production Show at Saskatoon, Sask., where she spoke to a crowd of farmers about tackling stress, and the importance of realizing that, when it comes to stress, we all have different thresholds.

One of Stewart’s take-home points was that stress is not only detrimental if you have to deal with too much of it, but also if you don’t face enough of it.

“There’s kind of a continuum model. So it’s like if you picture going up and down a hill — too little of stress can lead to a lack of ambition and things like that, but we need a certain amount of stress to hit our peak performance. So that’s where our critical thinking kicks in, our height and safety awareness kicks in, and all of those good types of things when we have the right amount of stress,” she explains. “We don’t need to live there, but going between no-stress and stress is helpful, (but) when we get on that other side of that hill too much stress can lead to mental illness.”

To understand our stress, it’s also crucial to know that we all have different levels of resiliency — so comparing yourself to your neighbour simply isn’t fair.

“We have so many different personalities, attachment styles, love languages, and all those different things in our life,” says Stewart. “Our level of resiliency from one person to the next going through identical situations is very different. So just knowing that, and allowing a little bit of that perspective to come into your life. If you look across the fence and someone is doing just a little bit better than you, that’s ok too.”

Watch the full interview between Adelle Stewart and RealAgriculture’s Kara Oosterhuis, below:

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