Stress and its Effects

Recently a number of things happened and things did not fall into place. Either way life goes on, I read articles, books and watch documentaries and try to find solutions for problems. I usually think of, formulate and implement solutions during breaks, preferably with good coffee or tea. Some solutions are written down, some solutions stay in my head.

In a short search for interesting documentaries I found the TED-talk about “making stress your friend.” It made me think and while I listened an idea came up, namely stress is what it is and nothing more. When a person responds to a situation in which tasks have to be executed under pressure the human body readies itself. Hormones are released, energy levels rise and quicker reflexes are enabled.

I do not like stress. Working under pressure is part of life, sure but the experience of stress is for me like a double-edged sword. Based on my experience in relations, sports, studies and jobs stress can work in you advantage. Thing is under stress it is easier to make mistakes you look back on and say “Oh, I could have prevented that”.

From my experience stress works in your advantage when you are in a flow and you know exactly what to do, while you are constantly in control of everything you do. Thing is that no matter how good you are, not everything is in control. When you accept that, all you have to do is do your thing and finish whatever you are working on.

The disadvantage of stress for me comes when I am in a disruptive environment. Depending on your skills and how good you can prioritize and execute multiple tasks, the disruptive environment can be in you favour. For me it is the opposite. When too many things distract me and confuse me at the same time there is a problem. When I have to work under pressure and there is too much chaos, I take a step back.

Stress is a personal thing. Some people become more social, some people prefer a quiet moment. I prefer a quiet moment and then I continue the work again while minimising distractions and confusion. I consider it a privilege to have my quiet moments with a coffee or tea.

While writing this post I had my quiet moment and a black coffee. I enjoyed that coffee…