It might sound like a contradiction in terms to use the words ‘stress’ and ‘positive’ in the same sentence. Surely there’s nothing good about feeling stressed? Shouldn’t we be trying to avoid getting stressed? Well actually no! Stress is a natural reaction that occurs for one of two reasons. Either we feel that something we really care about, such as our ability to provide for our family or an important relationship, is under threat. Or we feel like the demands on our time or ability are exceeding our ability to cope. In both cases, the initial stress reaction is a good thing, alerting us to what matters most to us. Motivating us to stretch ourselves out of our comfort-zone, or make changes to our lives to increase our ability to cope once more. The secret to keeping stress levels down is learning to view your stress levels as a useful ‘early warning system’ and knowing how best to respond – before you start to feel overwhelmed.