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It was another long day.You now meet with your last “customer” before you go home. When you listen to this person’s story, you get tense. You avoid having direct eye contact with her, and you feel emotionally switched off. They do not want to listen to their complaints; Instead, you just want to finish.
Instead of extending your frustration with this person, apologize and ask for a five-minute break.They take a short walk outside, take a deep breath and stop to drink some water. When you go back to your office, you smile refreshed and are ready to help.
Most people are stressed in their profession.However, if you understand the most common types of stress and know how to recognize them, you can cope with your stress much better. This in turn helps you to work productively, build better relationships and lead a healthier life.
The four most common types of stress
Karl Albrecht, a California-based business consultant and conference speaker, is a pioneer in the development of stress reduction training for business people. In his 1979 book “Stress and the Manager”, he defined four common types of stress.
Albrecht’s four most common types of stress are:
Let’s look at each of these types of stress in detail and discuss how to identify and deal with them.
You experience time stress when you worry about the time or its lack.You worry about the number of things you have to do, and you fear that you are not achieving something important. They may feel trapped, unhappy or even hopeless.
Frequent examples of time stress include concern about deadlines or haste to avoid delays.
Dealing with time stress
Time stress is one of the most common types of stress we experience today.You need to learn to deal with this kind of stress if you want to be productive in a busy business.
First, you learn good time management skills.This can include the use of to-do lists or, if you need to manage many concurrent projects, action programmes.
Next, make sure you spend enough time on your key priorities.Unfortunately, it’s easy to get into seemingly urgent tasks that actually have little impact on your overall goals. This can make you feel exhausted or feel like you’ve worked a whole day and done nothing meaningful.
Your most important tasks are usually the ones that help you achieve your goals, and working on these projects is better use of your time.Our article on Eisenhower’s urgent/important principle explains how to reconcile urgent and important tasks. Our Prioritization article helps you separate tasks that you need to focus on from those you can safely take.
If you often feel that you don’t have enough time to complete all your tasks, learn how to create more time for your day.This can mean that you arrive early or work too late, so you can concentrate calmly. You should also use your main working time to focus on your most important tasks. Because you work more efficiently, you can achieve more with your time.
For example, if you are a morning person, plan the tasks that require the greatest concentration during this time.With our “Is This a Morning Task,” you’ll learn how to prioritize your tasks and plan during your most productive times of the day. You can leave less important tasks like querying emails for times when your energy drops.
Anticipatory stress describes stress you experience in relation to the future.Sometimes this stress can focus on a specific event, such as an upcoming presentation that you will give. However, anticipating stress can also be vague and undefined, such as a general sense of fear of the future or the concern that “something goes wrong.”
Dealing with anticipatory stress
Since the anticipatory stress depends on the future, you must first realize that the event you fear does not have to go as you would imagine.Use positive visualization techniques to imagine the situation.
Research has shown that your mind on a basic neurological level often cannot distinguish between a situation you have visualized between a well-run state and a situation that actually occurred.
Other techniques – such as meditation – will help you develop focus and focus on what is happening, not an imaginary future.Consider daily time to meditate, even if it’s only five minutes.
Anticipatory stress can result from a lack of confidence.For example, you might be stressed at a presentation you’ll be holding next week because you’re worried that your presentation isn’t interesting. When you address these personal fears directly, your stress is often reduced. In this example, if you invest more time to practice and prepare for difficult questions, you will probably feel better prepared for the event.
Finally, learn how to overcome the fear of failure: By creating contingency plans and analyzing all possible outcomes, you get a clearer idea of what might happen in the future.This can help reduce your fear of failure and give you a better sense of control over events.
You experience situational stress when you are in an eerie situation over which you have no control.This could be an emergency. In most cases, however, this is a situation where your group experiences conflict, loss of status, or acceptance. For example, if you’re fired or make a big mistake in front of your team, these are examples of events that can cause situational stress.
Dealing with situational stress
Situational stress often occurs suddenly, for example, you may find yourself in a situation you didn’t know.To better manage situational stress, you should learn to be more confident. This means recognizing the “automatic” physical and emotional signals that your body sends out when you are under pressure.
For example, imagine that the meeting you’re in suddenly dissolves into a shout-out between team members.Their automatic response is to feel a bout of anxiety. Her stomach knots and feels bloated. You retreat into yourself, and when someone asks for your input, you find it hard to know what to say.
Conflicts are a major cause of situational stress.Learn effective conflict resolution skills so you are well prepared to deal with the stress of conflicts when it occurs. It is also important to learn how to manage conflicts in meetings because resolving group conflicts can be different from resolving individual problems.
Everyone reacts differently to situational stress and it is important that you understand both the physical and emotional symptoms of this stress so that you can control it accordingly.For example, if your natural tendency is to withdraw emotionally, then learn how to think on your feet and communicate better in these situations. If your natural reaction is to get angry and scream, learn how to handle your emotions.
Encounter stress revolves around people.You experience stress when you’re worried about interacting with a particular person or group of people – you may not like it or think it’s unpredictable.
Encounter stress can also occur when your role is associated with many face-to-face interactions with customers or customers, especially when these groups are in distress.For example, doctors and social workers have a high rate of encounter stress because the people they normally work with do not feel good or are deeply affected.
This type of stress is also caused by “contact overload”: if you feel overwhelmed or exhausted by interacting with too many people.
Dealing with encounter stress
Because encounter stress focuses exclusively on people, you can better manage this type of stress by working on the skills of your employees.To find out how good your employees are, take our quiz and discover the areas you need to develop.
A good starting point is the development of greater emotional intelligence.Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize the emotions, desires and needs of yourself and others. This is an important skill to interact with others and build good relationships.
It’s also important to know when you’re reaching your interaction limit during the day.Everyone has different symptoms of encounter stress, but an ordinary one is to withdraw psychologically from others and work mechanically. Another common symptom is that you behave in your interactions with others, cold or impersonal. When you start experiencing these symptoms, do everything you can to take a break. Go for a walk, drink water and practice deep breathing exercises.
Empathy is a valuable skill to cope with this type of stress as you can see the situation from the perspective of the other person.This gives you a better understanding and helps you to structure your communication in such a way that you address the feelings, desires and needs of the other person.