Stress – How to get it and keep it. The first three easy steps.

Stressed up. Time to sleep.

Stress is where demands exceed resources.  Where what we cope with “normally” becomes a challenge. It is something that occurs without us necessarily being aware of it happening. This last point is worthy of consideration. We cope until we cannot cope any more. Then there are two possible directions. Just reading an article on the BBC website about Antonio Horta-Osorio the chief executive of Lloyds banking group. He has been advised by medical professionals that he needs to take time out because of stress.

It does just creep up if it is not monitored. What can happen is the build-up of demands just keeps on. A state is reached where capabilities far exceed demands and before you know it “bang” or should I say “burnout”. Burnout is where we wake up one day and discover that our normal everyday functions are impaired. Things that we normally do without thought, suddenly become challenging. We start to forget who it is we are talking to or what we are meant to do next.  We become distracted from everything and unable to stay focused for more than a few seconds.

It all starts to become scary. A sense of  disassociation sets in and we start the process where we seem”spaced out” so to speak. The problems don’t end there. Physically the onset of lethargy  is experienced in the form of inactivity by being disinterested in anything. You might describe it as a “zombie like state” when the full impact is felt. Most peoples ability to endure until they have a breakdown is quite high. Though it is all relevant to the reality they are experiencing. To clarify this point, lets take a woman who has children and works full time in an office. She has to get home to prepare the food, washing, cleaning etc.

The demands are mostly psychical and require little thinking. There is a routine to follow and so long as there is a way to get everything done and where the things that do not get done are not important, she is likely to cope. If this woman was to have an executive position with responsibility and much decision making in her daily activity as well as the family and husband at home she may also cope on the basis that she has found a way not to remain connected to any one thing and deal with things as they come up. A constructive process has been created and she is managing her energy and schedule well. The damage occurs when the woman who has a lot on her plate starts to dissipate her energy in too many areas.

One such area is to over process information. Taking too long to make a decision is energy consuming and starts to create a backlog which in itself becomes a pressure. So here are the three steps to take to ensure you are stressed to the hilt.

  • Understand your capabilities – and always exceed them.
  • Take on responsibilities and worries that are not yours. – and totally immerse yourself in them.
  • Allow people to dump on you and never say no. No matter how much is being asked of you, keep taking it.

Have a go and see what happens. OR make a decision that “less is more”. The less we use our thinking the easier it all becomes. Stop yourself from allowing others to use you as a service provider. Allow people to take ownership and responsibility for life.