By Sam Hankin, Owner of Wellington Square Bookshop in Eagleview
The book is The Stress Test: How Pressure Can Make You Stronger and Sharper by Ian Robertson, Dr. Robertson is a Professor of Psychology at Trinity College, Dublin and the Founding Director of Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience.
The Stress Test confronts one of our biggest stressors, stress itself. Stress can give those who fret and worry the confidence that what is bothering us, making us nervous, panicky, scared, is really just our brain telling us that something exciting is going on. We can turn fear into excitement. We can harness the stress to enhance our performance.
A classic example that Dr. Robertson uses: You’re set to give an important presentation before a sophisticated group of peers and superiors. You’re biting your nails, sweating and pacing. You wonder whether this is it – your job, your career.
But you know your topic: you’re good at this. Turn that sense of dread into a feeling of excitement. “Here is my chance, my opportunity.” This adrenaline rush, this “fight or flight” feeling can be used as energy to present yourself as the best you can be.
Sounds like a difficult and daunting task. But when the whole system is deconstructed as Dr. Robertson does in this great book, it gives us the ability understand the processes that are going on and what the brain and mine are accomplishing together.
Sam Hankin is the owner of Wellington Square Bookshop in Eagleview. Recognized as the Best Indie Bookstore by Philadelphia Magazine in 2016, the bookshop has a literary focus, hosts numerous author events and welcomes customers to relax with coffee and pastry in our vintage reading room.