Behind every human action there is an intention to live better, produce more and achieve goals. The evolution of technology, the immediate interconnectability between human beings, the speed of innovation, transformation and disruption, represent this intention very well. However, this evolution and prosperity are only possible if we develop a good level of stress tolerance.
Paradoxically, in this world of rapid change, human beings forgot something. They forgot to keep pace with the application of tools that develop the skills and behaviors responsible for producing great mental, emotional and physiological well-being.
We, as a species, are developing thousands of ways to progress in the world we live in, but we have forgotten how important it is to adopt the tools that help our body and mind keep up with the speed of the technological advances.
Why improve stress tolerance instead of reducing stress?
For this to be possible, we need to develop the most fundamental power skill, the foundation of all other power skills: mental well-being. With it, we can develop other skills and behaviors to thrive, as humans and as professionals, in the face of a fast and complex world.
This power skill has been neglected for so long. The number of people who are distressed, burned-out, and unable to manage their stress has reached about 90% of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Chronic stress has become too common. However, many people don’t detect the signs and symptoms, such as anxiety, physical fatigue, and irritability, binge eating, boredom, impotence to solve problems, indecision, inability to focus the mind, among others (see the graphic below).
Habits and daily practices to foster well-being
In an era of constant change, what can contribute to improving the performance of leaders is the adoption of habits and daily practices that foster well-being, such as:
- sleep at least 7 hours a night;
- placing strategic breaks throughout the productive day;
- exercise conscious, deep, paused breathing;
- train meditation;
- exercising presence or mindfulness in everything you do.
We believe that through increasing an individual’s potential, chronic stress can be avoided and challenges can be overcome. It’s important to shorten the period of stress in order to increase our adaptability, resilience, energy and creativity, and then enter a period of recovery, rest and assimilation (see diagram below). This is a common strategy adopted by high-performance athletes.
How to make your stress tolerance sustainable
To provide an effective and lasting solution to increase stress tolerance and give you tools to face and thrive in the current scenario, we created the Stress Tolerance Program, which is part of our Mindfulness Design.
This Program offers a counterintuitive approach for dealing with stress. As you will see in the first aspect (book’s chapter*) Changing Habits, we propose to increase the individual’s potential in the face of the challenges they have to deal with. Reducing stress by reducing activities, projects, and tasks will be our last resort when we detect that we are overloaded. And we’ll talk more about that in the last approach (last book’s chapter*) Defining Your Boundaries.
Throughout the remaining parts of the Program, we will share insights and methods on how to train your mind and body, how to take care of your well-being, food and organic cleaning, your sleep and rest, and how to build healthier habits that sustain your vitality at levels higher than what is needed to meet the demands of your responsibilities or aspirations.
We invite you to discover this definitive way of making stress tolerance possible and sustainable.
* This text is the Introduction to the book Stress Tolerance, by authors Gustavo Oliveira and William Câmara, in the process of being published.