Positive Stress: 7 Tips for Concentrated Work


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Text comes from: Gelassen gewinnen: Ab jetzt reitest du den Affen! (2014) of Prof. Dr. Martin Christian Morgenstern, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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We dream of a life without stress and with a lot of relaxation. But is that desirable? Concentrating stress, in which we feel like doing our job, is quite positive. 7 tips on how to do that.

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Dr. Martin Christian Morgenstern 82Dr. Martin Christian Morgenstern is a behavioral scientist and evolutionary psychologist.

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Stress vs. Stress Life without work

Stress, stress, stress complain many - and dream of a life without work. But let's be honest: do you want that at all?

Imagine a life without stress quite realistically - wouldn't that be yawning boring? From a psychological point of view, too, it makes more sense to look at the word “stress” in a more differentiated way instead of just seeing it in red.

What is stress actually?

My core thesis I can pack in a simple statement: Too much stress is unpleasant, too little too. An average stress level is perfect! But what exactly is stress actually?

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Let's take a closer look at stress: Stress can be subdivided into 3 levels. Too little stress, stress concentrating and too much stress.

The Boreout Syndrome

We have too little stress when we are either tired or bored with the task. The challenge is classic in routine tasks, because these can be done by our subconscious mind almost in our sleep.

But even if situations are unpleasant for us, in the truest sense of the word, we go into the mode of challenge. In this context, think of endless meetings, simple routine tasks, or boring lectures.

We always recognize the challenge when we are hanging aimlessly in thought clouds or we are simply unconcentrated. This stress level is no fun, as recently shown by a new Harvard study.

Work well can be through stressful stress

Concentrating stress is an easy challenge. Then we have our action still under control, but it requires our full attention so that it works. At this stage, we are fully in the process and the time passes by in flight.

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You often have this condition when you are passionate about your work. To identify this level of stress, just ask yourself if you “want to or need to do something?” The goal should be to be at this level of “wanting” as often and as long as possible.

Loss of control: fear of burnout

And last but not least, there is the stress we are talking about when we say "that is stressing me out!" At this point, a situation is beyond our control. Deprivation of control also arises whenever we “have to” do a task.

For example, you know typical situations of loss of control when you suddenly get stuck in a long traffic jam on the way to an important appointment. Or you realize that you can not meet a deadline, you simply have too many tasks for a time slot, or simply no desire for something.

7 tips for practical work

Let us now turn to the practical side: 7 tips that show you how you can influence these levels at the desk.

  1. Clean up the head: Just as you regularly clean up your desk, you should also arrange the thoughts in your head. Take 5 minutes of time every day and write everything !, which is in your mind, just on a sheet of paper. You will notice how you get a clear head so immediately. That, in turn, is the basis for positive concentration of the stress level.
  2. One after the other: Create a schedule. So that you can fully devote yourself to one thing, your brain needs a clear schedule according to the motto: "One by one." To do this, make a simple deletion list, which is sorted by top down priorities. Now try stubbornly to cut off point by point and stick to one thing. You can see the whole thing like a game. You can do this by wandering thoughts as a little dog imagineyou always have to collect. But be dynamic in your prank list and adjust it when things change in the short term (and they do like that).
  3. Order is half of life: Make sure you keep things tidy more often. It is known that people like simple and clear pictures, objects and situations. An untidy desk is the opposite. This “ambiguity” unconsciously triggers stress because the brain has to use a lot of energy to repeatedly calculate the chaos and the “work hazards” lurking in it.
  4. Siesta: Bring the siesta to Germany! If you consciously pay attention to it, you will find that we are more often tired every day. The concentration of activating level 2 then no longer works. Instead of taking a break from what the body actually arranges in a lack of concentration, we usually go on or deal with banal things. Tip: take a break now! Ask yourself, "Do you get there faster with or without a break?" Only then should you take the break, because otherwise your subconscious may push you further to reach a goal.
  5. Cool drink: Become Aquarius. If you find that stress level 3 accompanies you, you can calm down your nervous system with a simple trick. Just drink 0,5 to 0.7 liters of water. The effect is similar to eating a good portion. The stomach is put on digestion. This is controlled in the nervous system via the parasympathetic nervous system. And he is responsible for digestion as well as for reassurance.
  6. Stress helps against boredom: Are you bored with a task? Ie you are in stress level 1. Good, then try the following. If possible, simply increase the pace until you immerse yourself in the task. Alternatively, a strong coffee or tea is effective to increase the stress level towards the pleasant level 2. What also helps is playing a little “fidget” and activating yourself through the body.
  7. Just stop the air: If you have a lot of thought in your head, just echo the air for a moment. Then try to breathe as slowly as you can. Voila, it's usually quiet in the head! In addition, the 1 technology can be used as a supplement to this. apply.

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German edition: ISBN 9783965962569

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