GREENSBORO, NC — Stress is commonly viewed as inevitable — the unavoidable result of people and situations in the workplace. But this is a false and dangerous assumption, according to a newly released book, Work without Stress: Building a Resilient Mindset for Lasting Success.
The key to eliminating stress in the workplace, the book’s authors say, begins with understanding the difference between “stress” and “pressure,” and the critical role “resilience” plays in preventing external pressures from turning into stress.
The book, by Center for Creative Leadership senior faculty member Nick Petrie and Dr. Derek Roger, founder of the Stress Research Unit at the University of York, redefines stress as the optional emotional interpretation of external workplace demands, or pressure, through rumination, which is continued thinking about emotional upsets.
“By playing into the fallacy that stress is caused by a demanding boss or quickly approaching deadlines, we take the power out of our own hands, and allow our discomfort to be dictated by external sources that are naturally a part of adult life,” said co-author Nick Petrie.
“We’re all aware of the emotional aspects of stress, but it can also seriously hinder productivity, health and well-being, and even derail careers if left unchecked.”
In the book, Petrie and Roger explore practical techniques for today’s workforce to control attention, adopt more perspective, and let go of ruminative thoughts. The goal: to change deeply ingrained ways of thinking about stress and develop universally crucial resilience skills.
The book includes tips on keeping work stress at bay, such as mindfulness, meditation, detachment and resiliency, drawn from their more than 35 years of ongoing scientific research on stress.
“The last thing we need is another book on stress management,” added Dr. Roger. “What we need is a mindset shift to see stress for what it truly is. It’s a myth that stress is an automatic and natural response to pressures at work. Stress is a choice we make to ruminate, or agonize over past and future events, rather than take action in the present.”
In Work without Stress, released November 4th by McGraw-Hill, Petrie and Roger also outline the critical role managers play in establishing healthy working environments in which rumination and stress are not prevalent, and how organizations can apply these approaches for happier and more productive work environments.
About Nick Petrie
Nick Petrie is a Senior Faculty member at CCL, where he works with CEOs and their teams to create resilience strategies for their organizations, particularly in periods of significant change. He is the lead researcher and co-creator of CCL’s Change Equation, which shows leaders how to lead change in ways that minimize stress and maximize results. Petrie holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University focused on organizational behavior and leadership development. He also holds two undergraduate degrees from Otago University (New Zealand) in business administration and physical education.
About Derek Roger
Derek Roger, PhD, is a psychologist who has spent 30 years researching the causes and effects of stress. He was the founder of the Stress Research Unit at the University of York, and is director of the training consultancy Work Skills Centre Ltd. His original research findings challenged conventional ideas about stress and resilience and led to the creation of the training program Challenge of Change Resilience™. Roger has authored more than 100 articles in the scientific press.