Excessive stress is not productive. Small amounts of stress, such as the need to get something important done can be great motivators, but long term chronic stress harms your life, body and mind. No one can go at 100% all the time without breaking down and crashing.
My personal strategies for beating stress:
Exercise keeps the body fit and the mind young. By engaging yourself in any sport or athletic activity you release stress inhibiting hormones. Exercising also allows you to unleash your anger and aggression constructively. For me this usually involves lifting weights or running.
Many people know the magical power of music. Music helps to distract us from our troubles. Personally, when I feel stressed to the max I will play Ode to Joy on my computer.
Seriously, how can you not feel awesome and upbeat after listening to that. The title is Ode to JOY after all.
And for this I don’t mean reading some text book or self help book or anything. This needs to be pleasure reading. Reading allows you to put yourself in another world. I enjoy reading spy espionage books like Vince Flynn, in addition to mysteries and fantasies.
Pretty much the same reasons as books. Also allows you to experience the story with other which lends to the enjoyment.
No seriously. The single most effective thing you can do for your money is to smile. Smiling has been proven to lower blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Even faking it works, try it for yourself and trick your body into feeling happier.
Remember, these are just the ways i beat stress to stay productive for my work and my startup. But we are all different so if you like other things like horseback riding, remote control planes, or cooking, just spend some time doing what you love.