The phrase “Stress is a new disease of the century” became very common. We repeat it constantly not thinking what it means or we say “It’s all because of stress” to someone who’s complaining, nervous or tired. It’s true that we feel a lot of pressure around us in life: ecology, politics, personal and social problems, careers, expectations.. And then we start to think that our life is like moving towards the hurricane and we can’t resist it. Stress resistance is something that each of us would like to have. How to deal with everyday stress? How to avoid it? How to cope with its consequences? Lucia Suleimanova who’s specializing on stress transformation is answering these questions here: 

– Lucia, by stress today its explained everything, it became a universal justification and at the same time a threat. But often people use this word not really caring about its meaning.

– That’s right. The accuracy of this concept has blurred, and often they are substituted for very different conditions – from chronic fatigue to domestic anger and intemperance or eating problems. In fact, stress is a state of heightened emotional tension that arises in response to various extreme effects (physical threat, grief, loss, risk of losing business, difficult situations in the family). In other words, stress is a normal reaction of the body and the psyche to events that violate the equilibrium.

– Who is more stress-resistant – men or women?

– The answer to this question is not so simple: men and women have too different reactions to stress, and the types of stress vary. Men are more constructive in their own stress – it is in an acute, sudden situation. And women are more flexible and more enduring in so-called distress – a chronic stressful situation. For example, a certain catastrophe – from an automobile accident to an attack or, say, an office scandal – usually encourages a man to get together and act sharply and efficiently, a woman is at that moment confused, logic gives way to emotion. But in a situation, for example, a long illness, repair, moving woman will show calm determination, methodical and focused, and for a man a long distance is much more difficult. The simplest example – bearing a child, is still stress, by the way. You know, it’s like runners at different distances – there are sprinters, there are stagers. This difference is explained by our biology and social purpose. Recently, scientists have identified the cause – malfunctioning in men of the prefrontal cortex, the area of ​​the brain that controls working memory, attention, decision-making, emotions and other processes. Therefore, the combined program for increasing the stress resistance, which we together with Professor Elena Baranova will be ready to offer to our clients this year is very important.

– There are people, and there are many of them that can work effectively only in a state of stress. Stress spurs and stimulates them. But we know that a prolonged stay in this state wears out the body. Is it possible to rebuild the internal settings to be effective without driving yourself?

– In business, this problem, indeed, has been very acute for more than one decade. Since then, perhaps, when the Wall Street laws began to gain popularity at the turn of the 1980s – all these career races and intrigues, the slogan “money does not sleep,” motivational trainings and literature that induce people to whip themselves up infinitely, do not sleep at night and go to work, both into battle. In stress there is a motivation, at first he is an excellent supplier of energy. By the way, there is a positive kind of stress – eustress: this is when our efforts acknowledge our value, and we celebrate the victory. And this can also “get hooked”. The tendency to work on stress is provoked or directly asked by management and staff, their personal characteristics. Often efficiency on stress is characteristic for procrastinators – people who postpone business for later, until the last. The chief procrastinator is building the process in such a way that he brings his subordinates under attack. Well, you know how it happens. At first, everyone swings for a long time, endlessly discussing, agreeing and holding meetings, and then suddenly it turns out that everything should have been done yesterday. Those who can not work in this mode, change jobs, there remain those who are suitable – the same procrastinators who are able to perform a monthly task volume for one night in the brainstorming mode for coffee liters. Conversely, if the boss is able to build a balanced motivational structure, where the pursuit of achievement exceeds the fear of failure and is supported by the ability to reasonably risk, he will seek to get rid of procrastinator employees.

– Are there techniques that allow you to see the stress of your subordinates and quickly stop him in a crisis situation in the company?

– In order to rebuild the current stressful situation, we first need to see in ourselves and realize this vicious mechanism: “I pull to the last – adrenaline – the work is a success – othodnyak.” Gradually, this mechanism is fixed and functions already at the level of the conditioned reflex, turns into a vicious circle. The attentive leader will notice the emergence of a stress factor in the team: the number of smoke breaks, conflict situations, the productivity of labor will decrease, hospitals and applications for dismissal are increasingly coming. In personal communication, this is expressed in vivid emotional reactions to the formulation of new or additional tasks – here and aggression, and apparent discontent, and every “game face.” Marked a similar? Have recorded the growth of such manifestations? Take action.

By the way, similar system laws work and in married couples.

– Why did the Scandinavian countries move from a culture of stress to the culture of the Hugg, and what should happen to us to make such changes?

– Hugge is a culture of unhurried coziness, creating a warm atmosphere of relaxation and comfort. Perhaps today it is the brightest and most effective alternative to the already familiar “vertical racing” for something unattainable (this is very aptly formulated by Carroll: “Sometimes you have to run to stay in place”). Hugge is a lifestyle that excludes stress. But notice, he came from Denmark, a country with a very high standard of living and its long duration. The Danes have created a cushion of security for themselves, which allows them now to build other schemes of life, to teach their children to set other priorities in the value system. This can not but attract, but this approach is difficult to transfer to unprepared soil. Hugge – the style of life of a stable middle class, who understood his priorities. And there, where the basis of society is made up by “survivors” or those who abruptly breaks out of this state, it is rather difficult to offer to enjoy the moment and appreciate the small pleasures. Actually, this is the contradiction of the Hugg: in order to catch the buzz in peace and prosperity, you must first achieve a certain position in the society by hard work with processing, hassle, everyday fuss, constant tension of strength and feelings. Fortunately, this is a “religion” that can start capturing new territories from a small – from the space of those families, where they are ready to simply look at life as a gift, and appreciate all its manifestations. At a minimum, it’s worth trying. Arrange yourself islands of peace and comfort – and strive to ensure that they gradually spread to all areas of life. Feeling happy is just what is the result of removing the basic psychological trauma.

– Are there people among your close associates who are subject to constant stress, and how do you build relationships with them that allow you to avoid complicated situations before the conflict?

– Stress-resistance is something with which I have been working with my clients for a long time. Sometimes one session allows you to identify and eliminate the underlying psychological trauma, and all the other symptoms go away on their own. Do you remember how Dr. House got angry with his subordinates when they treated the symptoms? You need to understand with the reasons. With what has caused and continues to cause stress, with what needs to be gently, aggressively and decisively eliminated, and with what you can wrap yourself up for.