CareerPersonal Growth

How to Improve Your Default Response to Stress

Everyone feels stressed at times. And there are times in our lives when we are pushed to the limit with great tension. It would be intolerant if we don’t know how to reduce and respond to stress in the right way. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Michelle Gielan categorizes people based on their response to stress into three specific groups:

  • Venters: highly expressive people who are open about stressful events in their lives, but fail to create a positive action to respond to the stress
  • Five-Alarmers: people who communicate about their stress and take concrete actions to solve the problem. However, they do not differentiate between low stresses and high stresses, and respond to every stress as a five-alarm fire, suffering a massive emotional cost.
  • Calm Responders: people who rationally and calmly respond to challenges. They are expressive without being so expressive that they get stuck.

Move Up the Ladder of Dealing with Stress

Each person has his or her own way of facing stress. However, it would remove a burden from their shoulders and others’ if they know how to handle stress wisely. Few people are born calm responders by nature. Many of these people have gone through trial and error, have had years of facing stress, or have learned from their past experience.

For people who are about to suffer from stress, Gielan offers some tips to deal with stress instantly and effectively:

… make a list right now of five stressful events from your past that you were successful at solving (for example, maybe you got through the breakup of a relationship or made a tight deadline on a big project), and then look at the list the next time you feel your heart starting to race, to remind yourself of those accomplishments. If you tend to bottle up stress or deny negative events, phone a friend the next time a stressor arises. If you’re distracting yourself instead of creating an action plan, get yourself to choose a “now step,” a small, meaningful action you can take right away that might not solve the whole problem but that will get your brain moving forward.

Knowing how to deal with stress is like taking a pain-alleviating pill—it costs, but it can have a lasting effect on your success and happiness for the rest of your life. You can view the original article here:

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