Stress is something that everybody faces. But when stress stretches you beyond your threshold, it can have detrimental effects. Here are ways to hang on and deal with it effectively
When she returned to work after a serious burnout, Ani Wilson started to see her colleagues in a different light. She could spot the signs of their extreme stress levels a mile away – the same signs that had plagued her until an episode of not being able to leave her bed forced her to stop and take stock. With a fresh insight on the perils of extreme pressure, she chose not to re-join the corporate rat race, and instead went on to retrain in neurological science in order to help managers, leaders and execs avoid the dangers of the chronic stress cycle.
These days, Ani works as a stress mastery coach and leadership consultant, and helps frazzled professionals around the world. With a focus on teaching achievable steps and evidence-based ‘brain hacks’, here she shares some insights and tips for putting the brakes on the stress express.
Despite all our knowledge on the dangers of high cortisol levels, the trend towards meditation and wellness, and the flood of information available to us about how to ease the pressure, we’re still more stressed than ever. So what’s going on? Ani believes it’s not just our addiction to our phones or an inability to say ‘no’ that’s the problem, but our brain’s processes simply struggling to cope in the world we now live in.
“We all have about 80,000 thoughts a day, and 90 per cent of those are your subconscious thoughts like habits and emotions, which are generally the same as yesterday,” she explains. “So we only have about 7,000 unique thoughts a day. In 1952, the average worker was processing about two newspapers’ worth of information a day, but if you fast forward to the present, that number is now estimated to be 176 newspapers’ worth of data. That’s using the same number of unique thoughts – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
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August - September 2019