Performance, Stress and Exhaustion: The Purpose and Nature of Stress
To be able to assist with stress management, we first need a common basis of understanding. The body needs stress to function, to perform but also for survival. The system in the body that is the most responsible for speeding up the system is the sympathetic nerve system, one of the two parts of the autonomous nerve system. For this reason, it is also often called the fight-flight system. This is the system that helps us get up from bed, but also get out of dangerous situations fast.
Also, stress to a certain level can improve performance and creativity. Hence, one can think of the body as containing a scale of 1 to 10 even with regard to stress where 1-3 is getting started and ready for some more action, 4-7 the body and brain cooperate optimally to create the foundation where we can function as optimal as possible with regard to the task at hand, whereas when we are at 8-10 we are in the fight-flight mode where we act more primitive, like reptiles: short-sighted and out of pedagogical reach with the only purpose to get out of the situation that created the stress reaction.
Hence, the real danger for the body is not stress per se, but lack of sufficient recovery! This is why I have rest present 2 times a week, Wednesdays and Sundays, to ensure sound routines over the week. This week’s exercise is to be aware how stressed you are on the scale 1 (barely awake) to 10 (panic mode) by adding it to your wellbeing and feelings logs of last Thursday and Saturday.
#selfhelp #stressexercise #psychologicalwellbeing #positivepsychology