Work-related stress is defined as a harmful reaction people have to undue pressures and demands place on them at work. A report by the Health and Safety Executive for 2011/12 says that 40% of reported work-related illnesses are caused by stress.
Of course, some stress can be good for people. It takes us out of our comfort zones and into our stretch zones – a place of personal and professional growth.
And while not all types of stress are negative, it’s useful to focus on something positive we can do to combat it.
Be positive to be resilient
Obviously – and this sounds simplistic – positive emotions drive wellbeing. But there’s a catch: For every negative emotion we must have three positive ones.
If you’re the type of person who knows what brings a smile to your face, that’s great – especially if you actually do some of these things regularly.
But just as some people struggle to make exercise a regular habit, perhaps you don’t focus on positive emotions regularly enough.
If you did, you would benefit from improved health, creativity and being able to see opportunities. You would also build resilience to help you handle stressful situations.
Live the 3:1 rule
You can learn to develop the habit of feeling positive emotions so that they outnumber negative ones by 3:1.
Just as buying or even wearing a pedometer doesn’t mean that we automatically get to 10,000 steps, sometimes we have to put effort into creating positive emotions.
This might involve looking at your funniest photos or watching quirky video clips, listening to some loud music or even dancing about energetically.
It’s good to expand your repertoire, too.There are many activities that we can do, from being grateful to carrying out random acts of kindness.
The trick is to do these things even – and especially – when we don’t feel like doing them.