By Mr. Ajay Prakash Mishra “Coach APM”
Does stress impair your immune system or rather enhance it to work better? What actually happens when you feel stressed, do you start working harder or become anxious, sad or depressed?
Stress really lies at the heart of whether or not our internal experience is matched to our external experience i.e., the events that are happening to us and around us. The ability to control our internal real estate i.e., nervous system that includes the brain and body, also how that nervous system interacts with the outside world determine our response to stress.
If you understand the evolution of humans on earth, you know that we humans evolved from a stage where the whole focus was on survival, to safeguard from famine then to various other stages. The system that governs what we call stress is generic not meant to handle one type of situation only. It’s good news as that gives us power to put a break on stress whenever we want.
To understand the control mechanism for stress we need to first distinguish between stressors which are the things that stress us out and stress which is the psychological and physiological response to stressors.
For typical workplace related stress, the stressors could be excessive workloads, unclear performance expectations, no control or say on decision-making & lack of peer comradeship etc. If employee doesn’t take steps to mauver through these stressors, he/she ends up feeling stressed.
The very first step to manage stress is to Track Your Stressors. You need to take a note of talks, person or even physical set-up which create stress for you. Also, note your response corresponding to those stressors i.e., your feeling, thoughts and physical reactions once you face those stressors. Observe your responses closely.
Create Thoughtful Responses against the stressors is the next step. If you know some of the tactics like not accessing digital channels of communication for a few hours and focus on work only, or going for walk, talking to family on some pleasant topics etc. gives you relief, do that. Or else the best technique is to give a break to yourself and focus on the base of life i.e., breathing. Get involved in the thoughtful exhale and inhale for a few mins.
When you get some challenging assignments or you get a tough boss or not so supportive peers, give yourself a pep-talk and Take Ownership. Take ownership of your actions. Believe in playing your role in life just like the Sun, wind and rain. They probably don’t expect any response from the receivers, they just do what they have to do.
These actions will help you to ground better when you feel like life is weighing on you or you are kind of being pulled by the currents of life. It’s good to remember that life doesn’t judge it simply teaches by consequences. Inaction leads no-where.
Live a thoughtful, peaceful and action-oriented life. The process of life is the interaction between its outer and inner worlds. Outer world is of people, things and situations. The inner world is of mind, intellect and memory. Ability to manage stress is dependent upon how beautifully you can find a balance between the outer world and the inner world. Whenever you feel shattered because of the stress monster, instead of doing your best to keep this monster at bay, invite it for tea and observe it. Track the stressors, create thoughtful responses and take ownership.