Applying TSK to Stress Management
Secrets for Changing the Perception of Stress
What’s the secret key to stress management? It's understanding that the experience of stress is the product of a predictable process that can be changed. Does this mean looking for external influences, such as the amount of work our boss gives us, and trying to change this? No. Though this can be helpful, the secret is to change the way we experience stress, not just what causes us stress. Then is the key to reframe, or be positive in stressful situations? No, this can also be helpful, but there is a much more powerful way to change experience before it becomes negative and needs to be reframed.
The secret is that the perception of stress is a regular, predictable process that can be recognized and changed at will. We are usually unaware of how in a very short time interval, subtle habitual tendencies create feelings, which then give rise to stress. Then, if we suppress the stress, it can develop into distress. But understanding and being aware of this stress development cycle brings freedom from it.
There are many techniques to transform stress, and they work at different levels. Don’t talk yourself out of feelings with positive thinking or affirmations, and don’t just try to find ‘the cause’. Training can show the stress development cycle. You can learn to quickly find the core of apparently ‘negative’ emotion and ‘painful’ feeling, and change it to pure and useful energy.
Transforming stress in this way, we also naturally become more involved in whatever we’re doing, improving both well-being and productivity. “When we . . . are totally absorbed by the activity at hand, we become our most positive and productive selves.” (Hunt and Hait) This is another key that provides a way to simultaneously optimize productivity and well-being, something desired by employee and employer alike.
Benefits of Coaching and Training
"Job stress today accounts for more than 50% of the 550 million workdays lost annually because of absenteeism." —K. R. S. Edstrom
Can you answer these questions?
What’s the most common barrier to personal productivity?
Are there ways of trying to control stress that are counterproductive? Are some ways more powerful than others?
Is there a way to handle stress that actually changes its quality? Or can we only adapt to it by being positive, looking for its cause, or changing external influences?
What are the steps of the momentary, instantaneous stress development cycle?
Where do we focus to most effectively change the ‘negative’ quality of stress?
Can you transform stress by removing its ‘target’, the sense of separate self-identity?
Above: "Going Beyond Managing Stress--Seeing the Stress Development Process in Action." An inquiry and an exercise that allow participants to discover the different stages of the stress development process (SDP) in order to see how to immediately stop the process and transform stress as it arises.
By Steve Randall