“Csikszentmihalyi says that when challenges exceed our skills, we feel anxiety; when our skills exceed challenges, we feel boredom.” And Hans Selye, one of the founding fathers of stress management research, said: "Stress is not necessarily something bad – it all depends on how you take it. The stress of exhilarating, creative successful work is beneficial, while that of failure, humiliation or infection is detrimental."

When a person’s physiological response to an external stimulus that triggers the "fight-or-flight" reaction, is called stress. " Fight-or-flight " is a term used to describe when our organism experiences a shock or perceives a threat, and it quickly releases hormones that help it to survive.

“Think of stress as energy. Great athletes learn to harness this energy and lesser athletes get harnessed by it.”

A simple way to look at this question of how stress management affects performance is to consider this dichotomy between good and bad stress management. In, sports for example an athlete who achieves greatness - he or she takes the same sensations that everyone else is feeling (anxiety, tension, butterflies, etc.) and converts that into a heightened state where they have more energy, better concentration and increased confidence. Thus, they experience these feelings as good stress. It’s a good example of a right stress management.

Like in sports there is this called Training Stress Score® (TSS) in other professions it’s also important to have this notion that moments of high stress, also have their recovery costs. Training Stress Score® (TSS) is a way of measuring how much stress is put on the body from a task. TSS® helps to determine the best combination of workouts and rest periods.

  • Below 150 TSS - recovery for ride will likely be finished by the next day (low)

  • 150 to 300 TSS - may be some leftover tiredness the next day, but gone by 2nd day (medium)

  • 300 to 450 TSS - may be some tiredness Even after two days (high)

  • More than 450 TSS - Likely be tired for several days after ride (very high)

A manager or a human resources manager like an athletic coach or personal trainer, should track the levels of stress of their team and also help them to manage stress like: how to use good stress management techniques to improve concentration – Dr. Selye himself, once said about stress: “It’s not so much what happens to you but how you take it.” – convey that knowledge and also teaching how to balance for good recovery, will be important to help your team focus when its need and rest when it’s the right time, to prevent mental fatigue or burnout, sometimes a little break in the right time can be just the right tool.

Because in the short term, we need to keep this fight-or-flight response under control to have an effective team in our workplace. A tight deadline is stressful but manageable if your team have the ability to meet it. If not, if your team feels helpless, the stress is more likely to be harmful. Extreme or chronic stress can have a negative effect, that represents big costs. So in the long term managers and human resources managers need to keep it under control to avoid problems of poor health, mental health, mental fatigue and burnout.

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If you are a manager or a human resource's manager, responsible for a team, it’s also important to think on them like your “soccer team”, and they have to feel like a team, because social contact is also a tool to control the levels of stress. Not only because helps to build a positive culture/environment that will help to avoid ‘bad’ stress, contributes to a better flow of work, but also will help them to manage better stress. Because when we socialize our body releases a hormone called oxytocin that helps to moderate the effects of stress.

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