Have you wondered why some individuals die at a young age while some have the privilege of doing a marathon with their grandkids at the age of 85 years? Have you wondered what is the major cause of chronic and life-threatening diseases in this world?
Questions like these are good to ask and be pondered upon. I today want to focus on the number 1 burning issue impacting our health.
So today I am here to define and to help understand more about a hackneyed six-letter word so fluently used in English communication which is STRESS. STRESS has caused enough damage to human life as it has been the cause of various life-threatening diseases.
Stress is defined as "a state of psychological and or physiological imbalance resulting from the disparity between situational demand and the individual's ability and or motivation to meet those demands." Therefore the more the imbalance the more the stress.
In this article, I will focus on bad stress. I will discuss four types of stress that Dr. Karl Albrecht identified in the book "Stress and the Manager" published in 1979. The four causes of stress are:
1. Time Stress
You experience time stress when you worry about time, or the lack thereof. You worry about the number of things that you have to do, and you fear that you'll fail to achieve something important. You might feel trapped, unhappy, or even hopeless.
Common examples of time stress include worrying about deadlines or rushing to avoid being late for a meeting.
To manage Time Stress, learn to have good time management skills. This includes using TO DO lists, and prioritizing your tasks. It is very easy to get caught up in trivial but urgent tasks that have no major impact while not devoting time to very important tasks.
Also, make sure that you are polite but assertive about saying NO to tasks that you can't do.
2. Anticipatory Stress
Anticipatory stress describes stress that you experience concerning the future. Sometimes this stress can be focused on a specific event, such as an upcoming presentation that you're going to give.
However, anticipatory stress can also be vague and undefined, such as an overall sense of dread about the future, or a worry that "something will go wrong." The main reason for anticipatory stress is due to a lack of self-confidence.
Combat the Anticipatory stress through the use of positive visualization techniques. Imagine that all things will go right. Other techniques – like meditation – will help you develop focus and the ability to concentrate on what's happening right now, rather than on an imagined future.
3. Situational Stress
You experience situational stress when you're in a scary situation that you have no control over. More commonly, however, it's a situation that involves conflict, or a loss of status or acceptance in the eyes of your group.
For instance, making a major mistake in front of your team can cause situational stress.
To manage situational stress better, learn to be more self-aware. Conflict is a major source of situational stress. Learn effective conflict resolution skills so that you're well-prepared to handle the stress of conflict when it arises.
It's also important to learn how to manage conflict in meetings since resolving group conflict can be different from resolving individual issues.
Most important: Learn to manage your emotions.
4. Encounter Stress
Encounter stress revolves around people. You experience stress when you worry about interacting with a certain person or group of people – you may not like them, or you might think that they're unpredictable.
Encounter stress can occur if your role involves a lot of personal interactions with customers or clients, especially if those groups are in distress.
For instance, physicians and social workers have high rates of encounter stress, because the people they work with routinely don't feel well, or are deeply upset.
This type of stress also occurs from "contact overload": when you feel overwhelmed or drained from interacting with too many people.
Manage it better by working on your people skills. A good place to start is to develop greater emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize the emotions, wants, and needs of you and others. This is an important skill in interacting with others and in building good relationships.
Empathy is a valuable skill for coping with this type of stress because it allows you to see the situation from the other person's perspective. This gives you greater understanding and helps you to structure your communications so that you address the other person's feelings, wants, and needs.
Finally, we are not living in a world chased by predators or we wrestle each other to death for food.
But today we live in a world of individual differences which are supremely sensitive to our psychological makeup and social context. That gives us stress. Combat BAD STRESS.
Last But not Least: It's your life and you have just one. Why not live it to the fullest?