What is Stress?

Stress is any demand (physical or mental) that is placed on our body. Stress is a state of anxiety produced when events and responsibilities threaten to exceed one’s coping abilities. Both Major life changes as well as daily hassles lead to the development of stress.

An Underwriter in Life Insurance space faces more than his/ her share of examples of both constructive as well as destructive power of stress. Irritability, snapping at trivia, lack of appetite, dehydration and insomnia are some of the destructive manifestations.

But, first we must identify the difference between constructive and destructive powers. I am sure that many out there are taken aback by constructive power of stress.

Let me explain,

Stress is a MUST if we must perform better and achieve our goals.

  • A person without stress is just BORED! No drive, no interest in work/ surroundings – just passing time.
  • Then, we have Eustress – the positive stress!
    • Eustress Motivates, Excites and Energizes
    • EUSTRESS results from exhilarating experiences. It is the type of stress you are likely to experience when you achieve what was not thought possible – like 150+ cases in a 24 hour period; like highest cases in a day in the team. It is the stress of before performance! Eustress is the stress of winning and achieving OR even trying to win
  • Then, we have distress – the negative stress!
    • DISTRESS is negative Stress. It results from losing, failing, not being able to cope. Distress Crushes and Oppresses.
    • Distress affects people in a harmful manner.

Let me explain stress with analogy of a tent.

A tent has a piece of cloth, 4 or more posts and wire. When there is sufficient pull (pressure) over the wire a piece of cloth takes shape of a usable tent!

This pull (pressure) if increases beyond a certain limit – either the wire snaps or the cloth tears or the post comes out.

Sufficient and just enough pressure is EUSTRESS and pressure beyond the limit is DISTRESS!

So, what is the way out?

There is no escape! Work has to be accomplished. We, all have to achieve our goals and strive to outperform our previous best.

Let us accept, stress can never be avoided. We have to manage stress.

Stress Management is a set of techniques and programs intended to help people deal more effectively with stress in their lives by taking positive actions to minimize their adverse effects.

Managing stress is easier said than done. It is akin to a 5 legged stool.

  • Exercise
    • Exercise burns stress chemicals
    • Aerobic exercise (walking, spot march)
    • 10 mins of stretches will aid flexibility
    • Set small, attainable goals for yourself in exercise.
  • Nutrition
    • Hydration – 2.5 litre water a day
    • Keep caffeine intake to a minimum; if need frequently, make it 75-100 ml cup
    • Eat less high-fat and high sugar foods.
    • Have Timely meals
    • Quit smoking
    • Moderate alcohol intake, if at all.
    • Increase fiber (salads), B complex vitamins and vitamin C.
  • Relaxation Techniques (Meditation)
  • Time management
  • Create social support (friends and family)

Remember, sometimes accepting what you cannot change can ALSO relieve stress. During JFM, you have to underwrite larger numbers – accepting this and setting your goals high will keep you in EUSTRESS spectrum.

Do visit https://inchesgroup.in/publications/ on 9th Feb 2022, for 2nd part of this 3 article series when we shall share a case study on how stress results?

And, should you need more details of how INCHES can help you manage work overflow,

For more details do contact Abhishek.l@inchesgroup.com