Pressure Doesn't Have to Turn into Stress - Deepstash

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Pressure Doesn't Have to Turn into Stress

https://hbr.org/2017/03/pressure-doesnt-have-to-turn-into-stress

hbr.org

Pressure Doesn't Have to Turn into Stress
When I was in my late twenties, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Doctors operated and told me to hope for the best. I returned to Japan, where I was working, and tried to forget about it. The tumors returned a year later, this time in my liver.

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How we react to stress

Stress is largely caused not by other people or external events, but by your reactions to them.

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Pressure is not stress

But pressure could be converted into stress, when rumination appears: the tendency to keep rethinking past or future events while attaching negative emotion to those thoughts.

Rumination is ongoing and destructive, diminishing your health, productivity, and well-being.

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Wake up

Stand or sit up, clap your hands, and move your body. Connect with your senses by noticing what you can hear, see, smell, taste, and feel. The idea is to reconnect with the world.

Most of the rumination happens when you are in a state called “waking sleep": when you are doing things, but you aren't really paying attention to them.

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Control your attention

When you ruminate, your attention gets caught in an unproductive loop.

So step up and redirect your attention to areas in which you can take useful action.

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Put things in perspective

Try these techniques:

  • Contrasting (comparing past stress to the current one, i.e., a major illness versus a missed sale)
  • Questioning (asking yourself “How much will this matter in three years’ time?”)
  • Reframing (looking at your challenge from a new angle: “What’s an opportunity in this situation?”)

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Let go

Try these techniques:

  • Acceptance: Acknowledge that whether you like the situation or not, it is the way it is.
  • Learn the lesson: Your brain will review events until it feels you’ve gained something from them.
  • Action: Do something about your situation. Ask yourself, “What action is required here?"

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