Dealing with stress

Most people report ‘stress’ as being their number one problem at work, but there is a method of categorizing pressure which employees’ report help them dealing with stress in difficult situations.

Put simply: it is to do with the ability of the person experiencing a stress problem to keep the stress in perspective. So when pressure builds he/she needs to step back and consider where the stress ranks against real-life threatening experiences. Sounds easy, but how is this kind of mind-game carried out in the workplace.

Life is of course full of very stressful situations. But broadly speaking they can be categorized into various levels of severity. For example: there is a clear distinction which is easy to grasp, between a life-threatening crisis like a serious car crash or illness on one hand, and a job threatening situation – like failing to do something on time for your boss, on the other.

Now measured against the stress categories above, most work related pressure is really quite minor. A deadline missed, a meeting attended late or an incomplete project, just can’t measure up against real-life threatening problems. And yet the stress levels experienced by some can be almost identical.

So nailing stress is all about keeping it in perspective. As you feel the pressure grow, step back for a moment and in your mind rate the likely outcome of failing to meet the deadline or attend that meeting. Sure, you might upset some around you; it might reflect badly in the short-term on your career progression; ultimately it might even lead to your losing your job. But in the process of categorizing those things that really matter, you’ll quickly see that none of the above are life threatening propositions. And once you have this one simple fact in perspective – the immediate stress will seem far easier to handle. Indeed you’ve just nailed your stress.