Have you heard this phrase before?
Whether you have heard it before or not, I bet you will have experienced it!
But, experiences which are not encoded in words remain unclear and undigestible.
Erich Fromm, one of the finest American psychologists and the founding father of Humanitarian psychoanalysis, wrote in his book, Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism,
“Experiences are available for conscious interpretations only through words."
So, you should know the phrase work stress, to make the experience of work stress digestible and apprehensible.
Listen! In the classical age, work stress was an alien term. At that time, most of the work was done physically, resulting in physical fatigue. But, in the modern world mind has taken the place of the body. Nowadays, most of the work is done mentally, that is, with the aid of the mind. In such a scenario, the mind is more likely to get tired.
Consider yourself sitting on your office bench with a large pile of contract files beforehand. How exactly do you feel?
There are two possibilities. First, you will lose heart and say, “God! Such a huge work can't be accomplished."
The second one is that you will start working with your whole energy. Here, it is the state of being stressed!
Verily, it is challenging to give an all-inclusive definition of stress. Stress is a broad term. It may have several forms. To look at the roots of this vast concept, we should ask Biology for help.
Stress is a state. In normal conditions, the state of being stressed is for a very brief period. But, for a person struggling with stress, the state of stress may span a significant time frame for a considerable time.
Stress is a state of being under pressure or threatened. It is when you feel you have no control over your ongoing matters. You are badly and entirely in the hands of fate. For example, you have a lot of responsibilities, a large family to look after, a career to seek, and a lot of work to accomplish. A person with multiple tasks can only do justice to some of them. Although, time management strategies help a little in such scenarios. But, most of the time, you will feel that you need to do more justice to your duties and responsibilities. It will most probably lead you to stress. You may have headaches, sleep disturbances, and low appetite.
There is a proper Biological mechanism involved in the working of stress. Our sympathetic nervous system becomes activated whenever we feel stressed during challenging situations. The adrenal glands, which are present on the top of each kidney, release epinephrine and cortisol. These hormones are released to launch the body's natural coping mechanism against stress, that is to say, Fight or Flight response. As the name suggests, the Fight or Flight response is activated to get you out of danger or overcome it. You have only two available options, either you can run, or you can fight to save your life. The choice is yours. During severe stress, it becomes difficult for you to fight. So, you only have to leave the place to get things normalized.
Fight or Flight response increases your heart rate, dilutes the pupa of your eyes, and increases the process of digestion. T is done to increase the Energy supply to your body so you can cope with the situation in a better way.
Fight or flight response increases the blood supply to your heart and body. At times, your heartbeat becomes so elevated that it becomes difficult for you to control your body. Your hands are most likely to start trembling. Your body may start shivering as well. Long-term acute stress may lead to heart attack, vasodilation, and diabetes.
The sleep cycle may be disturbed because of stress, and lack of deep sleep may lead to further stress.
Following specific practical steps will help you to get control of the situation.
1. Take deep breaths
A short span of deep breathing technique is the fastest way to reduce stress. Every time you feel stressed, pay attention to your breath. Taking deep breaths during periods of stress can help you to release the tension. Healthy breathing is the key to avoiding stress. Focus on your inhales and exhales.
Inhales profoundly and push as much fresh air as possible into your diaphragms. It increases the oxygen supply to your body which helps your heart to slow down. The Sinus Atrial Node of your heart sends signals to your brain to activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System. PNS, or Parasympathetic Nervous System, is there to counter your Sympathetic Nervous System. The Parasympathetic Nervous System releases hormones like Acetylcholine which reduces your heart rate and causes the contraction of your pupils. It shifts your body from being stressed to a state of calmness and peace. Sigh breathing can also help you to reduce stress within minutes.
2. Take a regular exercise
Doing milder exercise at the start of your day or increasing physical activity can help you to get rid of stress. Try to do a few push-ups or walk a mile or more. It would increase your body's resistance to stressors. Exercise helps you to increase your stamina and immunity. Increasing resistance or resilience will help you manage stressful situations with solid hands.
Mindfulness can help you to get control of your stressful situation. Open your eyes, and be alert!
By paying attention to your immediate environment, you can know the situation and how to overcome it. It is a well-established fact that Knowledge is Power. Knowing the problem is the key to solving it.
So, Mindfulness can help you to reduce stress.
4. Sleep well
Deep sleep helps you to stay focused throughout the day. Mindfulness is the key to defeating stress.
Moreover, specific thinking patterns can eventually lead a person to stress. In such cases, cognitive behavioural therapy is the aim. Cognitive behavioural therapy helps us reduce stress and other harmful things by changing our thinking. Verily, thinking has a more significant effect on the whole self of man. If you have healthier thinking patterns, you think positively about every aspect of life and have a yay-saying attitude toward life. There will be no place for negative things in your life.
Our values and core beliefs largely shape our thinking. If stressed and depressed, carry out a trans-evaluation of all values. Take your time! Examine your core beliefs. Research shows that having healthy values and core beliefs will help you to maintain a positive attitude toward life. If you are thinking negatively, then, believe me, there is something wrong with your core beliefs and fundamental values.
Values and beliefs are like the roots of your conscious self. Always have an eye on them. Create healthy values for yourself and follow them. According to the American psychologist Erich Fromm, it is challenging to eliminate a problem without its root cause. Reconsider your values and re-evaluate them.
Moreover, your personality also has a more significant influence on your thinking. Your personality can be the sole definition of yourself. Always spare some time to examine the pace and direction of your self-development. Pay attention to this point. Always keep track of your social development. For this, try to analyze your behaviour. Try to figure out you are dealing with others and life challenges. Only simple approaches will have their effects. Your society usually shapes your personality. Try to stay in a healthy, well-grooming social environment. Follow yourself with people who appreciate and motivate you. Such people are your real asset. Leave such gatherings where you feel small. Avoid such persons who constantly motivate you or pull your legs.
Always try to keep yourself happy. Research has shown that even smiling for fifteen minutes will kill all your stress and anxiety. So stay happy, maintain a yay-saying attitude towards life, and you will be free from all such problems.
Find your passion
The most practical step towards dealing with the stress problem at the workplace is to know yourself. Find your aptitude and taste. Find your talent and expertise. Find your passion. Stop to be a slave of a system. Here, stop for a while to ponder!
It is a delicate issue. I am asking you to stay in the system. You should better be a part of the system, even if it is strict and mechanical. But, for this, you should first find your taste and aptitude. Be a part of such systems which are by your taste and talents. Then, you will find yourself at ease despite all restrictions and obligations. The only cure for stress is calmness. It would help if you had to feel with your inner soak that you are safe. You have no danger. Then, it would be alright. For a person dealing with stress, calmness is everything!