- Define “stress” and explain why it often occurs in the workplace.
- Recognize the differences between acute and chronic stress.
- List the three steps for managing stress.
- Name three things the brain craves.
- Identify the differences between primary stress reactions.
- Recall the benefits of rhythmic breathing.
Skill Level Intermediate
- Stress is a funny word. Despite how often we all use it, most people have no idea what it actually means. Think about it, if I were to ask you right now, how would you define stress? I mean, we all know what it is but we don't exactly know either, right? How does that make you feel, stressed? Now add to that the fact that we talk about how toxic stress is for our brains and our bodies, and stress just causes more stress.
I'm Heidi Hanna. I'm an integrative neuroscientist and the executive director for the American Institute of Stress. My purpose is to try to transform how we deal with stress in our lives by creating a better framework through which to understand it, and then tools and techniques to use it to our advantage. My passion is based on not only in my work with some of the most successful companies, business leaders, and professional athletes, but also personally in navigating my own dysfunctional relationship with stress that started at a very early age.
We live in a world now that is filled with so much challenge and change, and it can often leave us feeling overwhelmed and out of control. When we experience stress, we tend to minimize it or try to ignore it, which only makes it more stressful in the long run. But stress itself isn't really the problem. The problem is when we fail to see stress for what it is: information and energy that needs to be used to fuel some sort of change.
In this course we're going to talk about what really lies at the root of our stress problem and how we can train ourselves to use stress in more effective ways. We'll look at how the brain perceives stress through our stress load and stress lens, and then discuss simple shifts we can make both personally and with others at work and at home to transform our relationships with stress. By doing this together, we build in the accountability and support needed to make lasting change and improvements in our collective health, wellness, and performance together.