Despite us spending on average 25% less time at work compared with 50 years ago, two thirds of us feel overwhelmed. Something’s obviously going wrong and why is it we feel so very stressed as a result?
Is it because we are catastrophising daily events into highly stressful situations (very possibly). Or is it because we don’t have the tools and techniques to handle stressful situations when they come along. There’s thousands of resources out there to help deal with stress. Here are just a few of the better ones……
This is a brilliant introductory presentation on stress and what to do about it by mindgym. It’s definitely worth 27 minutes of your time.
If we need to put stress into perspective and reframe it one of the most powerful resources around reframing is Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk.
It’s interesting to note that having a complete lack of stress is not entirely beneficial either– we become bored and a general lack of arousal means we lose our ability to cope with stress when it comes along. We possibly need to experience an element of stress once per month to build up our resilience. This optimum level of stress is called eustress with some more about it’s benefits here
Extrinsically we can do things to and within our environment to help us deal better with stress. Greater flexibility around work arrangements, surrounding ourselves with positive individuals and just engaging more with nature can have a healthy impact on us. Cutting down on multitasking and boxing our time to focus just on one task can help to increase our focus. Known as the Pomodoro technique there’s an electronic version here.
Intrinsically, within ourselves, we can try to harness our inner critic by being kinder to ourselves and building up our own levels of self awareness. Think back to a time when you successfully coped with stress and identify which strengths you employed to successfully manage through it.
If you have a tendency to be very self critical, the best resource out there is by Kirsten Neff. Self Compassion talks a lot about being compassionate and kind to yourself as you would to your best friend.
Please let me know of your favorite stress busting techniques and tools.