Work is by definition stressful, but most often it is our own actions that make some-stress, stupid-stress. In a company we are together faced with the challenge to accomplish goals far greater than any individual is capable. In environments with such ambitions, it can become easy to take on too many tasks, with too little time, and too high standards for one person to reasonably complete them. Sound familiar?

While at first glance we think we are just being extremely committed colleagues, rising to the occasion, ideal role models, satisfying the expectations the organisations we work for, the reality could not be farther from the truth. When people are under the influence of excessive or chronic stress they function significantly under their potential.

Over time, the biological programming to combat stress, cortisol hormonal response, effects not only the immune system, but has drastic implications for brain function. The results of which significantly lower a person’s executive function, diminishing the ability to prioritize, think creatively and regulate emotions. Once such patterns begin it is easy to see how they become self reinforcing, putting people at risk for nearly every sort of mental illness. Ultimately the company and our colleagues suffer from these massive reductions in productivity, incurring countless opportunity costs.

For these reasons it is in everyones interest that we create a culture that is proactive, encouraging each other to exercise our responsibility to manage stress before these problems spiral out of control. It’s in our best interest, enabling us to live happier lives. It’s in our companies best interest, facilitating smart, engaged, and healthy employees.

Of course there is a catch though.

This goal however is often easier said than done. So many of the behaviours that cause and increase stupid-stress are often the result of subconscious patterns, assumptions about the expectations, the rules or the way things are that we are not even aware of. Helping people to undo and redefine these patterns is the purpose of Instituut Core.

Jeremy Akers

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