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How to Use Stress to Your Advantage

Nervous energy is a performance enhancer if you know how to use it.

Use Stress to: Build a Better Body

You slide an extra plate onto the bar and think, “Oh, man.” Then, you either fail to lift the extra weight or simply don’t attempt it. Why? You didn’t pump up your ego before you tried pumping iron. “[Nervous energy] means that your body is mobilizing resources. It’s getting oxygen out to where it needs to get to,” says Jeremy Jamieson, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. “If we think we can address the stressors that we’re faced with, our bodies are going to do things to get us to approach that stressor. If we don’t think we can address the stressor, our bodies are going to try and remove us from that situation.” The next time your training requires you to increase weight, distance, or any other variable, trust in your abilities and channel that extra nervous energy forward.

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