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How stressed are you?


If you see these symptoms, you are stressed and you should take time out to de-stress.

  • Excessive sweating
  • Short of breaths
  • Sleeplessness
  • Poor short term memory
  • Inability to communicate with others without being abrasive and rude

There are reasons why some people appear to be so stressed and angry. Sometimes people are simply emotionally disturbed. Sometimes they use it as a negotiation tactics, by being rude and abrasive, they may be able to intimidate others and get what they want. Acting more stressed than they really are is a tactic people use to get power and sympathy, this type of behavior also gives people a free pass to act out their internalized hatred. Is it desirable? no. Is it common? Absolutely yes. But for many of us, being stressed is just a fact, with no hidden agendas whatsoever.

Having a clear sense of purpose as to what we want to achieve can make us feel less stressed. According to a paper in Higher Education Research & Development, researchers found that university students experienced less stress when they had a clear career goal in mind, students who were good at prioritization and planning also reported less stress. [1]

There are many benefits of actively managing stress. One of them is it frees us from the perceptual panic, hyped up mode. Being alert is a good thing, however, being hyper all the time actually can deplete our working memory and emotional capacity to handle real emergencies. For example, being able to identify the shortest route to escape a crowded building on fire can mean the difference between life and death. This may sound dramatic, but most people would agree that when we are relaxed AND alerted we are most able to see new opportunities around us.

Our susceptibility to stress is partly determined by our social upbringing and social generalization. That is one of the reasons why men and women react to stress in different ways. [2]

If you are constantly experiencing so much stress that you can't function properly at work, you may consider geting help. If your insurer covers psychological therapy, see a licensed psychologist. Otherwise, you can always try one of those ancient, free self healing methods such as meditation and yoga. Guided meditation is clinically proven to reduce stress and its many harmful effects.


Suggested reading:
Is it time well spent? The relationship between time mangament behaviours, perceived effectiveness and work-related morale and distress in a university context.Preview Kearns, Hugh; Gardiner, Maria; Higher Education Research & Development, Vol 26(2), Jun 2007. pp. 235-247.

The role of sex and gender socialization in stress reactivity.Preview Dedovic, Katarina; Wadiwalla, Mehereen; Engert, Veronika; Pruessner, Jens C.; Developmental Psychology, Vol 45(1), Jan 2009. pp. 45-55.