There are several techniques which consist in acting at the same time on the different symptoms of stress:
Relaxation techniques to reduce physical and psychological tension.
Cognitive techniques to work on one’s thoughts: ruminate less and stay positive.
Meditation techniques to gain perspective on situations.
Emotional management techniques to better control your emotions.
Relaxation techniques are mainly focused on breathing and muscle relaxation. Schultz and Jacobson’s methods are the best known. These techniques can be taught by a sophrologist, and there are more and more opportunities to practice them in the workplace. They are effective techniques if practised daily.
- Work on cognitions (thoughts):
In response to stress, we tend to let ourselves be invaded by negative thoughts, maximising what is going wrong and forgetting what is going right. These thoughts centre around our professional concerns, loop around in the form of unanswered questions: we do not solve problems but ruminate – that is, we think inefficiently. And the fewer problems we solve, the more stressed we are, the more negative our thoughts are, the more we ruminate – this feeds a vicious circle.
Cognitive techniques such as Beck’s teach us to identify these thoughts, to identify our cognitive biases (i.e. under the effect of stress, we no longer think objectively but tend to be more negative), and to do mental gymnastics to reduce the strength of these ruminations.
These techniques can be learned with the help of a psychologist, a psychiatrist who practices Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), or alone accompanied by an app like My Sherpa based on CBT techniques
- Meditation techniques:
These techniques, known as “mindfulness”, allow us to take a step back and bring our attention in the present moment, keeping parasitic thoughts at bay. These techniques help to improve our performance by removing disruptors.
They are taught by psychiatrists or psychologists who practice mindfulness, or in apps such as My Sherpa.
- Emotion management techniques:
Learning to manage your emotions and not letting them overwhelm you in the workplace are some of the keys to succeed in your job. Your emotional quotient is at least as important as your intellectual quotient to feel good and progress in your work. Self-awareness, self-confidence, learning to assert oneself, are all keys to managing emotions and can be learned in CBT.