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How I Broke the Cycle of Stress

The Stress We Encounter Daily

The Stress We Encounter Daily

A moderate amount of stress is beneficial for us but chronic, and toxic stress has the opposite effect of deteriorating our well-being.

Our current lifestyles provide us with above-average levels of psychological stress, which slowly drains us of our willpower and resilience, and makes us feeling hollow and unfulfilled.

We have a word for it: Burnout.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How I Broke the Cycle of Stress

How I Broke the Cycle of Stress

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/how-i-broke-the-cycle-of-stress/

blogs.scientificamerican.com

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Key Ideas

The Stress We Encounter Daily

A moderate amount of stress is beneficial for us but chronic, and toxic stress has the opposite effect of deteriorating our well-being.

Our current lifestyles provide us with above-average levels of psychological stress, which slowly drains us of our willpower and resilience, and makes us feeling hollow and unfulfilled.

We have a word for it: Burnout.

Maladaptation

The long-term effect of chronic stress is described as allostatic load. This is a fairly common form of chronic stress response of the body if it isn’t completely destroyed.

Prolonged stress makes the mind and body function in a different, sub-optimal way called maladaptation.

Pseudo Work And Stress

Many professionals have reported epidemic levels of burnout due to an abundance of stress-inducing activities that are not productive or necessary.

Chronic stress and burnout also result in errors, accidents, disability and even death.

Stress Relievers

Research in positive psychology shows that setting and pursuing a variety of goals that are meaningful to us is associated with less stress.

This includes being present in the moment and self-reflection activities like writing a journal.

Hope Theory

This is about concentrating on your internal motivation, and perceived capability to attain a certain goal. It makes us achieve small goals, as we are motivated towards taking the small steps which eventually lead to our larger goals.

Remember that we are not machines, and we cannot sacrifice our well-being for someone else’s bottom line, or any artificial target.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Relationship Between Goals And Burning Out
The Relationship Between Goals And Burning Out

Effective goal-setting underlies the fundamental aspect of your motivation and keeps stressful situations at bay.

If you don’t set goals in positive, attainable ways, you may fall i...

Reorganizing Your Goal Hierarchy

As losing resources is more likely to cause burnout than gaining resources is to mitigate it, dealing with the negative aspects is more beneficial than using positive “band-aid” fixes. You want to drive down uncertainty and inefficiency to ensure that you aren’t doing unnecessary tasks and minimize your emotional exhaustion. To do that:

  1. Create a chart and place your major goal at its top, followed by layers of very specific subgoals needed to attain the major goal.
  2. Find and fix the inefficiencies in your goal hierarchy.
  3. Determine the attainability of each goal.
Burnout Symptoms And Signs Of Exhaustion
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired concentration/ forgetfulness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Increased illness
  • Physical symptoms
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal pain
  • Depression
  • Interpersonal problems.

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The Pressure Of Time

Most leaders have familiar approaches to managing time: setting goals, planning, delegating, tracking commitments, and creating to-do lists. While these approaches do help in self-organization, the...

Sustainable Productivity

Instead of increasing the number of productive hours, we can focus on getting the right things done in a timely way. We also need to restore and balance ourselves, our colleagues, family and environment, instead of a neurotic or pathological focus on deadlines.

Find out what's truly important to us and use the finite resource of time wisely.

Phantom Workload

Phantom workload looks like real work but results in massive unproductivity and even conflict in an organization. The pressure to meet unrealistic expectations causes a vicious cycle of further workload.

Leaders need to take a hard look at what is being avoided or not addressed. Facing difficult tasks that were 'swept under the carpet' earlier strengthens them further to make hard decisions and face difficult people and situations.

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Understand your limitations

Burnout occurs when job demands consistently outweigh the resources available. The first thing you need to do is to set proper limits.

When you limit your time spent on specific tasks,...

Learn to say no

 ... especially to projects and clients that suck the creativity out of you.

When your mental resources are limited, you need to make sure they’re going to the right tasks. Burnout decimates your motivation, making working on projects you’re uninterested in an agonizing process.

Finding a creative outlet

Find a completely unrelated creative outlet: look for a creative task with lower stakes to help ease you back into things and re-ignite your creativity and motivation.

What are the things in your own life that you enjoy but aren’t necessarily “productive”? 

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Mindfulness is no longer considered a “soft skill,” but an essential part of overall health care.

Meditation helps you navigate stress, both acute and chronic

Mindful breathing can interrupt our stress and fight-or-flight reactions—meditation may “quiet” the amygdala, the area of the brain that responds to stress.

Regular mindfulness practice improves mental focus

 When we multitask, our concentration levels deplete But the simple act of returning to the breath, over and over again, builds the “muscle” of attention, helping you both stay on task and recognize distractions. 

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Acute Stress

It is the type of stress that throws you off-balance momentarily.

It comes on quickly and often unexpectedly and doesn’t last too long, but requires a response and shakes you up a bit,...

Dealing with acute stress
  • Breathing Exercises: Great for acute stress because they work quickly.
  • Cognitive Reframing: Learn to change the way you look at the situation to manage your stress levels.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation: It will give you a moment to regroup and calm down.
  • Mini-Meditation: Take breathing exercises a step further with this quick, 5-minute meditation technique to calm down in the moment.
Chronic Stress

It's the type of stress that tends to occur on a regular basis.

This type of stress may leave you feeling drained, and can lead to burnout if it’s not effectively managed. This is because, when the stress response is chronically triggered and the body is not brought back to a relaxed state before the next wave of stress hits, the body can stay triggered indefinitely.

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Investing

... is the trading of your money today for a lot more money in the future. It is a high yield over the long term.

What happens to your money

Banks don’t like to give away their money. That mindset is reflected in the interest rates of checking and savings accounts of 0,5% and 0.9% avg. annual interest respectively.

When you deposit your money in the bank, the bank turns around and invests that money at 7% a year or more. After they collect their profit, they give a tiny shaving of it to you.

Portfolio and Diversification
  • Your portfolio reflects your long-term wealth building investment strategy – not the short term. It includes everything you own. Your retirement accounts, your investment accounts, even your home are types of investments.
  • Diversification is a way to describe owning multiple types of investment assets. Diversification is smart because you both protect yourself from failure and position yourself to take advantage of multiple robust methods for building wealth.

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Telemedicine and telehealth
Telemedicine and telehealth

Telemedicine and telehealth involve remote-health-care technologies and services, known as "virtual care."

While virtual care played some role in the health-care industry, 2020 le...

Virtual healthcare recognized
  • Telemedicine can refer to the setup that allows workers in a large hospital to assist in emergency procedures from a distant support structure.
  • Telehealth uses virtual interactions between individual doctors and patients. You may have a bad sore throat and download the telehealth app, where you will be connected to a physician who can examine you and prescribe medicine.

Fifty to seventy percent of visits to the doctor's office could be replaced by remote monitoring and checkups.

Potential disadvantages of virtual health care

Telemedicine has been a hard sell in some areas.

  • Many rural clinics and community hospitals fear that their already inadequate medical staffing and the revenues generated from on-site procedures will be further diminished by remote medicine.
  • Old and poor patients who may need care the most can't afford smartphones or broadband connectivity.
  • Until recently, many people were unaware that the service existed, while others didn't trust an anonymous doctor.
  • Many people want to be in the physical presence of their physicians, believing the quality of virtual care is inferior.

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Workaholism

A Workaholic is a person who is addicted to work, having an uncontrollable and obsessive desire to work incessantly.

Workaholism is assumed to be the same as working hard, but the two quali...

How being a Workaholic harms you

When work occupies all your time and energy, and there is a relentless need to keep working at any cost, it can have some serious side effects.

1. Sleep Troubles

2. Frequent headaches and tiredness

3. Eating disorders and upset stomach

4. Pain in the body

5. Changes in Mood

6. Burnout

Workaholics have Sleep Troubles

Work addicts experience sleep trouble, with their busy schedules, without realizing that sleep actually benefits productivity.

This sleep deprivation also leads to crankiness and memory impairment.

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What burnout is

Burnout can be broken down into three parts:

  • Exhaustion: it could lead you to be easily upset, have trouble sleeping, get sick more often, and struggle to concentrate.
What Causes Burnout

6 components of the workplace environment that can contribute to burnout:

  • Workload
  • Control
  • Reward
  • Community
  • Fairness
  • Values. 

We end up with burnout when one or more of these areas of our work don’t match our needs.

The Risks of Burnout

Chronic psychosocial stress that’s common in people suffering from burnout can impair personal and social functioning as well as overwhelming your cognitive skills and neuroendocrine systems. 

Over time the effects of burnout can lead to memory, attention, and emotional problems.

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Find Partners Who Understand.

A major component of stress is feeling helpless or alone. Partner with those who understand your vision, limitations, and goals, build a better team and have people to lean on in times of stress...

Manage Your Expectations

Managing your own expectations about where you see yourself, your team and your company can have a dramatic impact on mitigating much of your stress.

Developing realistic deadlines, strategic plans and budgets can ease much of the stress we feel as we strive to grow. Accept where you are in the process and the limitations of yourself and your team, and slowly build from there.

Don’t Overlook Your Personal Needs

Stop often and take stock of your physical, mental and emotional health, as they all play a role in how well you handle stress. Be sure you are taking care of yourself in each of these areas before you dedicate all your time to the business.

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