Stress is at an all-time high these days, thanks to the history-making times we are living. In an interview with Chris Swanson, he identified having an athletic mindset is helpful when facing a stressful state of the world. “You need an athletic mindset now more than ever to combat stress,” Swanson says, embrace this mindset as a way of thinking, where you look at everything as a competition. According to Swanson, this means you don’t go into anything unless you envision it as a personal challenge that you want to win. He assures that it is never too late to adopt this mindset.
He discovered this strategy as an adult, already established in his career, and going about life with no real complaints, until one day he had an awakening. He realized he needed a change. From this experience, he learned that it’s never too late to start over. Swanson emphasizes it’s important to “take care of the machine that will take care of you… It’s not about vanity, not about ego, it’s about the machine you have and taking care of that machine.”
In terms of stress management, Swanson finds that staying in tune with a positive mindset is vital. He explained, there are two different types of stress: “bad” stress and “good” stress. Bad stress increases the cortisol in the body, which causes anxiety and can ultimately lead to a shorter lifespan. The good stress is called eustress, created by the hypothalamus. It’s the stress your body produces when good things happen like laughing, going to dinner with a group of friends, or hugging a loved one. Swanson advises working intentionally to transition negative stress by replacing it immediately with something you can do to make you happy.
In this uncertain time, Swanson suggests coming together as a community to ensure that the stress we experience is mainly the positive type that prompts the kind of productive actions that can get you through tough situations. Swanson lives what he preaches. He has a long track record of bringing people together to support their community for the better. One example is his involvement with Voices for Children, a nonprofit that provides forensic interviews for sexually abused children. Swanson explained how each of us could make a difference in our community by engaging in a cause we’re passionate about and attending fundraisers or volunteering.
Swanson believes that even the smallest life choices– from mindset to positive community support– can add up. Seeing the bigger picture while being an active part of a community can result in stress relief with a bonus of helping others. Swanson is well aware of how one action can create a positive ripple effect for the community. Each year Chris volunteers as the Emcee for Hurley Medical Center’s annual Pink Night Palooza. This dynamic fundraiser focuses on supporting local women battling breast cancer. The event not only gives breast cancer survivors and current warriors a fun night out, it later provides resources for those families to continue on their battle. Swanson shared how being involved with these activities has allowed him to witness the goodness in life in unexpected ways.
Chris believes we can all make our personal lives, work environment, and community stronger by doing our part. When we make an effort and shift our mindset and energy into something positive, we can do amazing things for ourselves and others. Chris lives life on giving to others, listening, and doing his part. He explained it does not have to be complicated to do your part.
Parting words of wisdom from Swanson are: “To be first, you must be last and serve unto all.” He recommends individuals use their circles of influence to make an impact and bring the changes most important to them. When we do our part in our corner of the world, the world is better, and often we feel better—transitioning personal stress while turning our minds and actions to help others in need.
Kudos Magazine Volume 6.2