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We cope with things best when we have sufficient capacity to deal with them. It’s useful to have some way of monitoring your own levels of demand and pressure to ensure that, should you approach the red line on the dial that indicates danger, you know when to pull back in good time, and while you still can.

How do you monitor your stress levels? Do you recognise when you need to make some changes to avoid stress and burnout? From my experience, many people don’t (admittedly I’ve usually asked people this when they are either complaining of stress or trying to learn about it, so my sample may be skewed).

The thing is, if you see the red line approaching while it is still some way off, you can act to avoid becoming a victim of stress. If you only find out about the red line when you trip over it, it’s too late!

Stress management is best done when stress is not an issue. That’s when you have the capacity to learn, plan and strategise. Many people only think about it too late though, when they are already in trouble.

 

2 Responses to “Spare Capacity”

  1. Sure wish I had read this a few years back Barry. After experiencing total brain death with work related issues (I couldn’t even remember how to turn my computer on, much less use the programs!), 3 days of mental testing at hospital clinic (my mum developed early dementia so I was afraid my problem was that) and weeks of anxiety I learned that it was all stress-caused! Nasty boss, engineering type work that I had never done before etc., etc. Advised to quit my job, chill for a week or two, all of which I did. No more stress, no more brain death! 6 years later, at the age of 73, going strong and brain still sharp as a tack! Believe me, there is NO stress in my life now – I just don’t let myself get to that point. As always, your messages mean a lot to me Barry – always something to learn from them. Thank you.

     
  2. Thank you Sue, for your insight. I’ve notice (in my work), that the only ‘failing’ common to people who become victims of stress, is that they tend to be overly responsible and think if they just work a bit harder, they can sort things out. Eventually, they lose sight of the checks and balances, and finally they have no choice but to come to a halt.
    Thanks for taking the time to share your story.

     

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