There is no such thing as a stressful job, stressful company or stressful life. Thirty years of research on stress and resilience has found that all of your stress is created in your head, period.
The researchers from York University found that stress was driven by one key factor – Rumination. Rumination is the process of thinking over and over about events from the past (guilt, regret) or events in the future (fear, anxiety) and attaching negative emotion to them. When you ruminate the hormones adrenaline and cortisol flush through your system sending you into fight or flight. The result for people who ruminate a lot is that they are stressed all the time.
This is problematic on a number of levels beginning with your health. Continuously elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol lead to increased chances of a heart attack coupled with suppressed immune functioning. Secondly people who ruminate a lot spend most of their life in an unhappy mental and emotional state. Finally, people who ruminate are not good at achieving things because the one thing they are not doing is work. In summary, all that rumination gets you is a short, miserable, unproductive life. Other than that, there is nothing wrong with it!
The first key to reducing your rumination is realizing that there is a difference between pressure and stress. Pressure is simply demand in your environment e.g. deadlines, bosses. Stress is what you do with that pressure inside your head. People who have high pressure jobs but don’t ruminate aren’t stressed. People who have low pressure jobs, but do ruminate are. Think of someone you know who ruminates a lot – how stressed are they?
So what can you do about it?