What is stress?

Recently, I joined Katie Stoddart (www.thefocusbee.com) for a joint webinar on the Surprising Facts About Stress. Here are a few topics that came out. But we covered so much more so I'd recommend a list to the webinar replay and a try out the activities in the PDF. Message me to get access to those.

What is stress?

Stress is a reaction to a stressor. And a stressor is an event which when humans first walked the earth could have been a big scary predator! So it used to be really helpful. But if you are stressed significantly or longer term then it can have a detrimental impact o your physical health.

Your response to that stressor will be physiological, psychological or emotional.

But nowadays it is probably an email from an unhappy client or having way too many tasks on your 'to do list' than you can get through in one day. It can also be around a happy event such as planning a wedding or moving into your dream home.

When you're changing jobs or careers it comes up often because there are lots of potential stressors from planning how to manage financial changes to making sure you give a great interview.

What you can do about it?

How you choose to manage your stress is very personal. It will depend on your experiences, learned behaviours, the event itself, your stress baseline and more.

There are a couple of ways to handle this.

One thing is to look at your baseline of stress. So if you have high stress levels already then it won't take too much to 'tip you over'. This might mean that something fairly insignificant will cause you to feel angry, such as not being able to find your car keys. Think about whether you have a higher baseline and what you can do to reduce it. Not everything can be changed. Sometimes its about accepting what cannot be changed.

The other is to notice if you have a particular stressor that triggers your stressful feelings and look at how to address that particular stress. If you feel lots of stress when giving a job interview, then look at how you can prepare yourself to reduce the stress levels - maybe practice interview techniques, practice meditation beforehand etc.

Noticing is a brilliant first step. Just notice and write down a description of what is happening and when. Give it a label - that's a great way to depersonalise it. Then you can look at how you would like to respond to this in future and get a strategy together.

Remember that sometimes it will take a few practice attempts before you can successfully modify your behaviour. That's absolutely fine. You're making progress. It's just that some of our longer term, deeply embedded habits and responses take a while to change. But keep working at it and you'll get there.

Next steps

Let me know if there are particular stressors which trigger your stressors that you would like me to share more helpful information about. Or share your top tips with me.

And if you want to spend more time learning about stress then message me and ask for access to the webinar reply and PDF from the recent Surprising Facts About Stress webinar.

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