Life is a series of changes we need to adapt to. Every change no matter whether it is positive or negative is stressful to an extent. When you are feeling stressed, it’s because you perceive that the environmental demands exceed your adaptive capacity. There is a very important word in this sentence, which defines whether something will stress you out or not. Can you guess which one it is?
It’s the word perceive. Yes, changes are always stressful however the extent to which you are stressed by them, depends on your perception of the situation or event. Because… is problem really a problem, if you don’t think it’s a problem? You can let us know your thoughts on that in the comments below. But back to stress now.
It’s also important to say that stress is not all that bad. Adapting to new situations in life is how we learn and expand our comfort zone. That’s why we have to differentiate between eustress and distress.
Eustress or positive stress, is perceived as motivating. It improves your performance and feels exciting. It’s a short term mobilizing force helping you take action. Important thing to note here, within the scope of the positive stress you feel like whatever you are challenged with is within your capabilities.
Distress or the negative stress on the other hand, feels draining and unpleasant. It’s the feeling of being overwhelmed and you begin to perceive tasks as being outside your coping abilities. This type of stress decreases performance and may lead to mental and health problems.
Entrepreneurs are especially at risk here, because of their heavy workload, long working hours and higher-than-average need for achievement.
What are the effects of psychological distress?
First of all, it suppresses your immune system. Stress has also been found to be connected with depression and there’s more research emerging, which links stress to respiratory tract infections, asthma autoimmune dis- eases and problems with wound healing.
So what’s the take away message? Want to keep yourself healthy? Learn how to deal with stress! Which is exactly what we are going to do now.
6 strategies for coping witch stress:
1. Practice self-awareness
Self-awareness means having the ability to take a step back and evaluate your way of thinking and acting. This point is actually connected to your emotional intelligence, but we will focus on that in more detail in future videos.
2. Practice changing your point of view
This tip is about approaching situations with a positive and open-minded attitude. For example, it could mean that you choose to perceive failure as a learning experience.
3. Put things into perspective
Ask yourself, is whatever I am stressing about right now going to matter in one year? We often let the smallest things get to us, even though none of them will really matter on the larger scale.
4. Express yourself
Talking and sharing ideas with friends and colleagues will help you to declutter your busy mind. If you are going through a tough time, talking it through with people might even help you find solutions to your problems faster.
5. Know your limits
We all have a limited number of resources everyday. And I am not talking about money here. Your resources that you spend everyday include your time, attention and emotional energy. Choose wisely where you invest these resources and know your limits.
6. Trust yourself
Believe in your own capabilities to overcome whatever challenge lives gives you. And at the same time, trust that life simply has a way of working out. It’s not easy to ‘give up’ the control but the truth is, we cannot control everything in our lives. Some things we have to accept and trust that at the end of the day it’s all going to be alright.