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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

5

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

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 into a cycle o...

Step 1: Reorganizing Your Goal Hierarchy

Emotional exhaustion can make you dread your daily activities rather than thriving on them. When this happens, we tend to become more focused on avoiding losses rather than achieving gains.

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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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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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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