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What causes stress?

health-and-fitness Updated: Jul 09, 2011 18:51 IST
Dr Shikha Sharma
Dr Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times
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We all love stimulating environments, people, conversations and goals. When we get something which we find interesting, we love doing that work. But at the other end of the spectrum we have situations and jobs which make us anxious, tired, bored. In between these two extremes is the fascinating and yet mysterious world of stress. There is good stress which stimulates our mind and emotions; and at the other end of the spectrum, we can even collapse with stress. There are two aspects we need to understand: the experience of stress and the personality type.

StressWhat happens when our experience changes from stimulation and cheer to anxiety, anger and stress?

People enjoy doing their tasks more when the end result matches or goes above their expectations

We enjoy the task more when it is somehow linked to something we have an interest in

We enjoy the task if it gets us appreciation or adulation

Tasks which are done well within time, and yet at our personal pace give us the most satisfaction

Tasks which have a high social value also give us joy

We like tasks where we feel we are getting paid more than what we expect

Tasks where we inch closer to our deep-seated ambition of wealth/ power/ recognition / comfort are more appealing

What are the tasks/experiences we do not enjoy?

Surprises which are unpleasant, where the task is not in line with our list of appealing experiences

Deadlines set by others

Orders and instructions given without our buy in

Task disconnected with our set of interests and abilities

Getting too many tasks, which we don’t know how to do

Environments that are noisy, hot, and very uncomfortable

Maladjustment with people in the team who are involved in the task

Feelings of injustice

A work pace not aligned to the task deadline

Not asking for help /delegation

The bottomline is that stress = personality type (response ) + environmental situation. Some basic examples:

A person who enjoys research and investigation is put into sales and marketing

A person who enjoys solitude is put in social networking and communication

A person who hopes for a little appreciation is neglected and taken for granted

What are the solutions? We shall explore that in the next column.

From HT Brunch, July 10

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