Stress is something we have all experienced. Study, work or family-related stress can be boiled down to the exchange between two factors which are discussed in todays blog.
Stress presents in all sorts of ways, some people feel their heart rate rise and their breath shallowing (physiological) while others experience a wandering mind, cloudy thoughts and a lack of focus (psychological). Neither response is out of the ordinarybut with healthy habits and practice, we can change our response to stress and pressure such that we react positively and thrive in it.
It is possible to have a positive experience when under stress. I know it sounds impossible, but trust us. With the below psychological and physical tools you can use stress to boost your productivity and take control of stressful events.
The effects of stress on our physical and mental health
First, we have to understand and evaluate the stress that we are feeling. Typically, stress is the result of an exchange of two factors: demands and resources.Demands can include a deadlineat work whereas a resource is the ability to cope with such demands. Resources include; confidence levels, perceived control over the situation and the enjoyment or reward from completing the demand.You may feel that you are stressed about an upcoming event as you fear the demands are greater thanthe resources you can provide. Luckily, there are techniques you can harness to change your perceptions of stress and in turn, your physical and mental health.
Responding positively to stress is not something that will happen immediately. Rather it takes practice and patience to ensure your long-term benefit. The best place to start is to promote a positive response to stress. This can be done by being open to others about your stress, discuss in detail your concerns with colleagues and family to normalisewhat you are feeling.When you approach the task that is causing a stress response, recognise your physiological response. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you and welcome those physical messages. Take three deep breaths and focus on your chest rising and falling and use this as a way to reset before jumping into the task causing the stress response.
You can also promote psychological habits that will strengthen your positive stress response. Start by creating a mental picture of a time when you faced a similar demand and how you used your resources effectively to have a positive experience.You might want to picture yourself doing well in the future and what positive outcomes follow your stress response. These habits are harder to perfect as it is difficult to see the positives when feeling stressed. However if you take a second to incorporate these psychological habits into your stress response, you will find over time that you are able to effective manage your stress and decrease your physiological demand.
If you are interested in discussing any of the points further, we would be more than happy to hear from you. Feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer any questions you may have.