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Apr
18
Brady Wilson

Exhausted? Need a quick energy boost?Tap into tension.

Tap into tension.

Here’s why:

Despite what you may think, tension is not necessarily a bad thing.

Quite the contrary: within tension lies a free pool of renewable energy, just waiting to be harnessed!

Interestingly, though, the human brain’s natural response to tension is that it is a threat.

And so, when we react to tension, we sometimes end up doing not-so-productive things like avoiding the situation altogether, overpowering others, or complying entirely with the other party.

But believe it or not, our brains are actually energized by tension: because the current way of doing things and the desired way of doing things can stimulate our brains into problem-solving and thinking innovatively.

Need more proof that tension is good for you? Here are 7 top reasons to move toward tension.


Get energized! Here’s what you can do right now:

Tapping into tension doesn’t have to take up a lot of time; you can resolve tension and reap the benefits within as little as 20 minutes.

And what’s more—by confronting tension, you actually end up saving a lot of extra time, headaches, and personal energy in the long run!

Watch for your next moment of tension with another person—that is, when both parties have competing needs or priorities. When that moment arrives, follow these tips:

  1. Notice your state. When you sense inner tension, identify the specific emotion you are experiencing. For example, are you concerned? Frustrated? Angry?
  2. Name your state. Silently name your state—for example, “I am feeling concerned that this project or work relationship could go off the rails.” Simply by acknowledging it, this reduces your stress load by up to 50%, freeing up some energy that you will need to be your best self in the difficult situation.
  3. Hold it. Hold the two opposing thoughts or emotions (yours, and the other person’s) in your mind simultaneously.
  4. Harmonize competing needs. Resolve tension by first stepping into the other person’s world and finding out what matters most to them. Then, help them see what matters most to you. Don’t ignore or dismiss the current reality—but don’t let go of the preferred future either. Identify the common ground and then harmonize competing needs by co-creating a solution. When people learn to stand in the middle of tension to deal with competing priorities and create sustainable solutions, they can create surprisingly amazing innovations. 
     

Business leaders: not sure how to deal with tension-filled situations at work? Download Juice Inc.’s The Engagement Paradox white paper now!

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Brady Wilson

Brady Wilson

Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author

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