Stress management

Stress management

From the Latin strictus “tight”, apheresis of “distress”, “anguish”, “pain”.

External stimuli, the situations we experience and the environment in which we live, or work set in motion our emotional reaction that we call stress, a multifunctional process that involves cognitive, affective, sensorial and behavioural aspects.

Stress is an emotional reaction that may promote better performance (eu-stress), because it adds a sense of urgency; it may stimulate us to obtain better outcomes; it may act as motivation for solving problems, and it is an important warning sign when something is wrong, allowing us to implement the proper actions for addressing such problems.
Excessive stress – especially if it is prolonged and if it exceeds a person’s stamina – is almost always a bad thing.
However, it is not stress in itself that is a problem, but the way in which we are able to manage and govern it at a cognitive level. We all have our own adaptive level to stress that determines not only our performance but our physical, mental and social health.

Training the ability to manage stress is therefore key to preventing it from negatively affecting our lives, causing difficulties in communicating and making decisions, problems with concentration and learning, as well as health, by lowering our levels of productivity and our morale.
Whenever the ability to manage stress is less than optimal, the greater the likelihood of lapse-type errors or that inadequate strategies are activated for coping with stressful situations. It is also possible that, in stressful situations, there is a tendency to pay more attention to positive information and to show selective blindness towards negative input.

Any event, action or reaction (stressors) to which we are subjected may be a stressor. Furthermore, stress is always relational because it depends on our relationship with the environment and on how we deal with problems.
Similar environments have an adaptive level to stress: each workplace has its own specific level that determines the structural health and good performance of the human resources that operate within the company or their maladjustment.

Stress management therefore is based on the awareness of our adaptability and adaptive limits, on recognition of situations that cause stress and our response under pressure, on the awareness of how to improve our functional and structural strategies and on the development of new habits that change or mitigate exposure to such stressors and on the support that we need to ask for (and give).