Tomorrow is the deadline for the quarterly report, the boss asks to meet with you, and the documents for the client meeting are far from finished. Your colleague is travelling this week; the team assistant is sick off until further notice. What about you? Are you the sort who is panicking now or are thriving under pressure? How to best survive stressful stages in life, depends on your coping strategies and personal stress management. Better to reduce stress than to avoid stress … How? Continue reading stress-free!
Stress is in business
He is everywhere: stress is on everyone’s lips, and has now arrived in most areas of life. In addition to the stress at work. we also felt more often stressed in our personal life. Particularly in the current circumstances where our home has now also become our office, the school for our kids and the best place for exercises, activities and holiday. It seems we are running in a wheel and we all feel more and more exhausted and stressed! The word stress, has become the epitome of our fast-moving time and would easily win for the title “Bad Word of the Year”.
What happens to us when we are stressed has already been investigated by Richard Lazarus in the 1970s. The most important finding of his research is likely to be: The decisive factor for the emergence of stress is not the actual situation, but the perception of it and our personal handling of it. In other words, there is no stressful situation at all – we create the stress ourselves.
A question of attitude
On the other hand, there are so-called stressors, external influences that make life difficult for us. This can be an event such as the death of a loved one, illness, but also an interpersonal conflict, deadline pressure or fear of failure. Stress is only what we perceive as stressful. At the beginning there is always an assessment: is the situation to be mastered, the task to be handled? As soon as the feeling arises that one is not up to such a situation, the stress level automatically rises. The mental assessment of the current situation triggers emotions. The emotional reaction in turn burdens the nerves and often leads to muscular tension. Stress is therefore nothing but a biological response to the increasing stress, in which more and more epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol are released. This can be understood as a kind of physical turbo, which, however, only holds for a certain time and can cause long-term damage. Fear and stress are also the most common causes of cardiovascular disease. Every fifth person suffers at some point from such a heart failure. Cardiovascular disease is even the most common cause of death in the West. Most sufferers feel that stress is the main cause of their illness.
Stress has two faces
Although the word is mostly negative, there are two types of stress, the positive and the negative one. Some people simply need constant pressure to be productive, others are best off if they look after three large-scale projects at the same time and others need to spend some of their time exercising in the evening to be able to be productive. Stress is subjective. What would throw your colleagues off track; you may call as basic tension. If the motivation is right, you have fun and you are in the middle of flow, then nothing seems impossible and your power reserves are almost inexhaustible. Positive stress, the so-called Eustress, namely ensures more concentration, spurs on and promotes active behaviour. So stress can also be beneficial.
The personality decides
The negative stress, also called distress, is dangerous and makes you ill, especially if it becomes a permanent symptom. What was perceived as invigorating and positive yesterday can become negative stress through a single event today. If the joy of work is lost or the success is missing, our confidence dissipates. In the worst case scenario, the stress manifests itself in us mentally or physically. Above all, people who are beyond ambitious or a perfectionist, as well as those who have a low tolerance for frustration or who are poor at managing their emotions, are more vulnerable. Stress management is key here.
Ignite the turbo!
Basically, the longer the loading phase, the longer the rest period should be. Body and mind need time to reset to their normal level. In addition, the burden adds up. So if you repeatedly ignore the stress, the body tires faster. Everyone has to figure out for themselves when a period of rest is absolutely needed. Whether it’s enjoying a relaxed night out after a hard day’s work, doing exercise, taking power-naps, or short walks during lunchtime, if it helps you to relieve stress then any such activity can be right. Just five minutes of exercise in the fresh air, can improve the mood and even have a positive effect on self-esteem. Empirical studies confirm that the level of stress decreases afterwards. However, serious stress management starts much earlier, before the stress even occurs.
As so often before, the road to success has three stages: to recognize, to understand, and to act. You cannot turn it off unless you know what puts you off stress. It is best to write down your specific stress factors for a week (or longer). Afterwards, consider a solution for each cause. Perhaps you ask for help from a friend or a friend for this task, a neutral third party observation from a professional coach, cannot hurt.
If you plan your time, then do it so that there are also moments of idleness in which you can just “bum around” without a guilty conscience. What protects the nerves is to be honest with yourself. So go to the bottom with your unfinished projects as well in private as in professional life: Either you complete them or admit to yourself they will be unfinished. In this way, you get the head free for the important things again. It is also helpful to note down the daily tasks and work consistently according to priority.
Turn the skewer!
Turn the negative stress into a positive one, by consciously incorporating activities into your day that give you strength. Find out what’s good for you and pay attention to the signals your body sends you. Set aside one evening a week for good friends or people close to you. It also helps some to seek so-called places of power, anywhere in nature, at home or elsewhere, where it is possible to recharge.
Stop the circulation!
On the journey to serenity, a little movement helps. The muscular relaxation through targeted exercises or a short walk in between activities, ensures the calming of your nerves. You will notice “It is not so bad” and you can confront the situation more calmly. Fear of possible failure subsides and you can again focus on the real problem with a clear mind.
So far the ideal case. We do not want to conceal the fact that this requires discipline and a firm will. If you come to the conclusion that targeted coaching in support of your work style could improve your situation, feel free to check out our virtual Coaching offerings in our Website BreakYourPattern and find the perfect coach for you. As a member of the network you might also find the following training courses in addition to the read, could also be helpful to you in managing stress: Online Training course “Life Balance”, Classroom Training course “Dealing with myself”.