Janik Vonrotz


3 min read

Some thoughts on stress

How are you? Are you stressed?
Stupid question! Of course I am. I am f!*$&ng stressed all the time!

Not a nice way to start a blog post. But for me it also not a nice topic. This post is a ongoing series about the challenges of being self-employed.

Stress as a term is used inflationary. You cannot really use it anymore to talk about the feeling or emotion. Stress has become a problem for our sociey and is deeply entwined. The question is no more how to avoid stress, but how to deal with it on a daily basis. We should treat it as a health risk the same way as obesity or addiction.

Experience stress personally: In my job there are so many uncontrollable unknown possibilities that I can be worried all the time. Stress for me is not something that can be avoided. It is there and needs to be dealt with.

As said the term “stress” is used inflationary and therefore often misunderstood. We need a new understanding in which ways stress affects us. Lets think about the macro and micro level of stress. Often we talk about the macro level, how stress affects society or the work force. But as an individual the micro level is much more interesting. Micro-stressors, micro-stressors or daily hassles describe a more detailed view on stress.

Here is a good definition:

Stress comes to us all in tiny little assaults throughout our day - what we call “micro-stresses” - for example, the frustration of a colleague missing the mark on a joint project, or the emotional toll of a trusted work colleague moving on. These micro-stresses come at us all day long, through relationships and interactions that are too numerous and high velocity to easily shake off. The problem is that most of us have come to accept micro-stresses as just a normal part of a day. We hardly acknowledge them, but cumulatively they are wearing us down.
Harvard Business Review - Don’t Let Micro-Stresses Burn You Out

Traditional advice on coping with stress doesn’t work with micro-stresses. They are too numerous and come at a higher velocity. It takes up too much time to take care of every one of them.

We need new strategies to mitigate the effects of micro-stresses.

Prioritize

Our personal resources and time is limited, you need to prioritize. Prioritize the top of the micro-stressors and take care of them. Often we have a short-tail-long-tail-situation.

![[long term vs. short term.png]]

A fewer number of stressors have a higher impact on the overall experience.

Align

People with positive life stories have a different perspective on micro-stressors. They experience stress in a more eased way.

If your values and believes are not aligned with your everyday work or obligations the you won’t experience progress, but various conflicts. Ensure that you can avoid tasks and responsibilities which do not fit your person.

Distance

If a friend or colleague continuously causes you stress or feeling emotionally depleted. Maybe it is time create some distance. In times of social distancing this of course might be applicable

Conclusion

Micro-stressors are different to normal stress. We need new coping-strategies. Prioritize your responsibilities, ensure your values are aligned with your doing and avoid people that cause you emotional stress.

Categories: Blog
Tags: stress , management , thoughts
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