What causes you stress?
Some of us love flying, while others become a nervous wreck the moment they step into the airport before a flight. Some can move house with happy anticipation and ease, while others find their minds scrambled and their emotions all over the place during the entire process of finding somewhere to move to, moving out and settling into their new home.
My greatest challenge is tech – all things tech. I have to pull out all my stress busting skills and strategies to keep on track and cope.
There are a few things, such as work pressure, lack of sleep or accident, that create a similar stress response in many people but, even then, definitely not exactly the same response or level of stress in everyone. So what is that causes some people to experience less stress than others in similar circumstances?
Viktor Frankl, who survived the Holocaust, wrote:
“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and
struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at
any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”
Viktor Frankl was a neurologist and psychiatrist and during his captivity he chose to look beyond his suffering and focus on survival and helping his fellow prisoners. He believed that having meaning in life is the primary motivational force in man. His well-known book on the topic is Man’s Search for Meaning.
After the war Frankl created a new school of thought – Logotherapy. His research attributed lack of meaning to such mental-emotional problems as depression, anxiety and criminal behaviour; the search for power, materialism, hatred, boredom, and neurotic obsessions and compulsions.
Applying his theories, a sufficiently powerful meaning for flying, moving house or handling tech could significantly reduce stress and lead to a positive attitude that could find wonder and purpose for flight; practical and enjoyable steps for moving to the new home; and an “I can handle it” attitude regarding tech.
There are other tips, strategies and skills for coping with stress, but Viktor Frankl’s theories on the topic are interesting and make a lot of sense.
So, for the upcoming week when I’ll be unavoidably involved with tech, I will repeatedly:
- remind myself of the meaning of my work;
- break down the tech steps into simple manageable chunks;
- breathe before each task;
- imagine each step and the entire job completed;
- tell myself “I can handle it”
- and do it step by step.
And, when the job is finished I will have created a memory of success that will reduce future stress when facing tech challenges.
Whatever your stress, those simple steps can help you to make it manageable and reduce your stress levels.