This post is an excerpt from my Book, From Change to
Transformation & Beyond: A Guide for Aspiring Individuals, Chapter, Five pages 61and 62.
Story of Sally illustrates that stress is caused by how we a life situation and the value we attach to what is involved
What will you Lean
How a professional who values his or her job, compared to one who does not, would be stressed if there is a real or perceived threat to that job.
How do we perceive a stressful life situation
The perception process occurs at two levels
Are we able to deal with this life situation:?
1 When we are faced with something that:
we perceive to be beyond our capacity.
2. Challenges our integrity as an individual
What does the life situation means to us?
1. The value we attach to the challenge we face.
2. The actual or perceived threat to that value.
This formulation of stress is illustrated by the
story of Sally of one of my previous patients.
Story of Sally
Sally, a middle-aged woman, was a patient in my practice several years ago. She had been working for a small business owner for ten years. She was the only employee, and her boss depended on her to keep things running when he traveled out of state.
“One Friday afternoon around four o’clock, he called her into his office. “I have to catch a plane at five,” he said. “I will see you at 9:00 sharp Monday morning.”He then left in a hurry, which he had never done before.
”Realizing that business was slow and knowing that most employees got fired on Monday mornings, Sally immediately wondered if she was going to lose her job. Added to that concern was the recent retirement of her husband, who was out of town. Her job was their only source of income, apart from their savings, and they could have financial difficulties if she was fired.
When her husband returned home Saturday afternoon, she told him her concerns about losing her job.
“Honey,” he said, “you have worked for your boss for ten years and you have not received a raise for the last five. You’ve asked for one ever since I retired, so maybe now he will give you one.”
“Knowing that she might receive a raise made her feel better, but then fear of losing her job returned, and she became anxious and upset again. She cycled between these feelings all weekend.
The fact that her boss asked to see her Monday morning did not cause her stress, rather it was her perception of what it meant to her that precipitated it. As her perception shifted, her stress levels fluctuated.
'Somehow, Sally managed to endure the shifts in her emotional state and made it to the office Monday morning'. To her surprise, her boss gave her a raise. He had hurried out of the office on Friday to close a big contract with a large corporation that weekend.
Excerpt From: Om Prakash, PhD.
“From Change to Transformation and Beyond.” Apple Books.