Increase your professional performance with effective stress management
Stress can be defined as the pressure people feel by various conditions and occasions encountered in our daily life. Some of the major causes of stress include sleep inadequacy, poor diet, financial problems, professional problems, family problems, personality, absence of social support, lack of exercise and medical problems. However, Anadolu Medical Centre Psychologist Sevil Usanmaz says that although stress has become an inevitable part of our lives it has the potential of triggering performance and success if managed correctly.
In a sense stress is every instance, experience and condition putting strain on the individual. Looking at the issue through this perspective, everybody is under different degrees of stress whether young, old, male or female. According to Anadolu Medical Centre Psychologist Sevil Usanmaz it is impossible to eliminate stress from everyday life when there are so many stress-causing factors around us. Usanmaz says that stress can strengthen certain people; the key is to learn how to cope with it.
Sevil Usanmaz says that people under stress either fight against or withdraw themselves from the source of stress in an attempt of self-protection. According to Usanmaz peoples’ response to stress shows a great deal of similarity even if the source of stress is different. People demonstrate various responses and behaviour in the face of stress to protect themselves says Usanmaz and adds: “Facing stress, all living organisms either fight or withdraw from the condition causing stress. This is called the principle of “fight or flee”. The integrity of the organism is threatened under stress and the organism’s self-protection mechanism is affected from this condition. This imbalance has to be corrected. Balance can only be established by either fighting against or fleeing from the source of stress. However, prolonged unsuccessful battle with stress will lead to burnout.”
“Stress energises the individual”
Usanmaz says that according to psychologists, stress belongs to the person who carries it in his/her mind and adds: “Individual differences, perception, feeling, learning, socio-cultural traits, mental capacity, gender, age and past experiences transform the stimulant into stress. The response we give to stress is related to the meaning we attribute to the stimulant. A person’s past experience, incorrect learning, needs and expectations makes the individual define a condition or stimulant as either “stressful” or non-stressful”. Sometimes it is said that a little stress is helpful. Small amounts of stress improve individual’s performance and energises. For instance: increasing speed and duration of working performance to meet a deadline. In other words, stress in moderation intensifies the sense of curiosity and helps learn new things.”
Breathe correctly to cope with stress
According to Usanmaz the best way to cope with stress is relaxing and the first step in relaxation is controlling respiration. Usanamaz points out to the significance of taking deep, slow and quiet breaths when under stress and adds: “It is fundamental to breathe correctly to cope with stress. Correct breathing is one that is deep, slow and quiet. Good inhalation demands good exhalation. Slow but effective exhalation from the mouth will help the person relax. Short and fast breaths will not help relax and therefore cannot be considered to be effective in coping with stress. On the other hand, to better cope with stress develop your sense of empathy and try to understand what others feel. Learn anger management and effective time management. Love yourself more and have faith in yourself. Award yourself and think positively. Be open to change.”