Monday 29th May 2017
I recently attended a workshop about stress in the workplace in which speakers shared their experiences of stress, and how organisations can further support staff. One of the audience asked the question - is there any research to suggest that certain people are more susceptible to stress than others.
This got me thinking how people respond differently to situations. If I was told I had to parachute out of a plane I would lock myself in the house and never leave again. There’s no way I'd do it. Yet for other people this is part of everyday life and does not increase stress levels at all. In which case, how can you test someone's stress levels to see if they could cope with something.
It's not the situation that's stressful it's how we react to it. It's what we tell ourselves about it that causes us the stress.
So how do you control and manage your stress better. There's lots you can do to reduce it once you've learned your triggers to stress. And that is key. You might know the big things that would cause stress like jumping out of a plane but what about everyday things - driving, getting stuck in traffic, being late, dealing with difficult people, to name a few. Start to evaluate what happens to you in these situations - do you start to feel hot, snappy, angry, do you shout or even swear. How does your stress play out? Then ask yourself what was it about that situation that lead to those feelings and what can you do differently next time. Could you practice deep breathing, or distract yourself, or talk yourself through it? Because you may find yourself in the same scenario and by choosing to react differently you’ll get a better outcome. Knowing and understanding is the foundation to making a change and by doing so you are taking control instead of being controlled.
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