Stress and worry on the job can be harmful! They cause physical
and emotional problems that may damage both your health and
your performance. Furthermore, stress grows! Excessive worry
is a major element in the vicious cycle of tension: the physical
sensations of stress - tense muscles, headaches, insomnia and
so forth - lead to catastrophic stress-building thoughts, which in
turn aggravate unpleasant physical feelings, and so on up the
tension cycle. Soon, just the thought of preparing an assignment
or meeting a deadline triggers all the symptoms of stress, along
with an overwhelming wish to avoid tasks.
Fortunately, you can learn to avoid your "stress-building"
thoughts and replace them with alternative "stress-busting"
thoughts. When you are under stress, what messages are you
sending yourself? Are they alarming or reassuring? You can
decrease your stress by learning to talk to yourself in a
reassuring way. This is what "stress-busting" is about - getting
your thoughts back on a reassuring track.
Stress-busting thoughts come from what is called the "Rational
You." The Rational You thinks its way through life's events,
evaluating the degree of safety versus danger involved. What
happens to the Rational You in a stressful situation? It gets
pushed aside by stress building thoughts which disrupt
concentration and productivity at work.
Become aware of how your stress-building beliefs affect your
behavior. Replace them with more realistic and less stressful thoughts.
Keep a record of stressful situations and rate the actual level of
stress from O (most relaxed) to 10 (most stressed). Start to
monitor your stress before, during and after stressful events or
situations. As you begin to observe your levels of stress, you will
notice that these levels are not constant. You will find that stress
levels increase when you are concentrating on your most
alarming thoughts and bodily reactions, but stress levels fall
when your attention turns away from these areas. This will show
you that one way to reduce the level of stress in your life is to
actively turn away from negative "stress building" thoughts and
to concentrate on positive, stress-busting ways of thinking.
Replacing harmful thoughts with positive ones takes practice,
and the results are worth it. Review the facts. What is your
evidence? Is there another way to view the situation? If not, what
is the worst thing that could happen? You may have been
concentrating on the worst possible, but by no means the most
Stress Builders and Stress Busters:
Stress Builder: "I'll never get this project in on time."
Stress Buster: "If I stay focused and take it one step at a time, I'll
make steady progress."
Stress Builder: "My supervisor didn't say good morning. He's
probably displeased with my work, and I'll get a bad evaluation."
Stress Buster: "I'm jumping to conclusions. My supervisor may
have been in a bad mood. So far all my evaluations have been
positive, so unless I get some negative feedback, I'll assume my
supervisor is pleased with my work."
Stress Builder: "I can't get my mistake on page 53 out of my
mind. The paper is ruined. I have disappointed everyone."
Stress Buster: "No one is perfect. I did my best. I'm overreacting
to one mistake when the overall report is fine."
Often, very useful facts and advice come from non-NLP sources.
The above article is adapted from