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A CEO’s Guide To Managing Stress in the Chaotic World

We have good news for you if you are struggling with chronic stress and if this becomes a major issue affecting your daily life and health. Spare 10 minutes for your first step towards defeating needless stress.

Ersin Pamuksüzer, the founder of TheLifeCo, with over 20 years of experience in the field, shared his experiences and insights on coping with stress and stress management in daily modern life.

“I have been actively doing business management. For over 20 plus years, I’ve been managing the Ericsson company and being on the boards of media and telecom companies. Still, from 2002 to 2005, I had that kind of transformation process from being a business manager to a mindfulness-seeking businessperson. And that journey started with looking for physical wellness. It mainly focused on my weight, energy, physical wellness, etcetera.

But for the last 10, or 15 years, my interest has increasingly become about mental wellness because not only me but I’ve observed that the world is experiencing a kind of mental disorder pandemic. That’s why we invested a lot into mental wellness as a company and I as a person.

What is Stress?

Stress is a response to a trigger. The triggers could be what you see, what you think, what you hear, what you read. It could be some input coming from a source and those triggers are processed in your hard-wired brain and end up with you positioning yourself against that trigger. Let me give an example.

Let’s say you see a bird flying directly to you. So that’s a vision of something you see, then it triggers. Are you under threat? If it’s a big bird, you may say, I’m under threat. And then you may say, ok, I need to run away. I need to protect myself. We call it justified stress. Meaning you are correct to be stressed. You are correct to be stressed because stress measures whether or not you are in survival mode. So, if you are rejuvenating yourself, relaxed, and peaceful, you are out of stress. But if you are in survival mode, then it means your life is under threat.

Woman in the Relaxing Nature

The Symptoms of Stress

When you are focused on the threat, your body gets your blood to your legs and arms so that you are ready to fight or run away. If it is justified, you need all this. You need to fight or run away. But if it is not justified stress, which is the case for 99% of today’s modern reasons for stress, I would say that this unjustified or fake or artificial stress is what’s ruining modern humans’ lives if the threat is not life-threatening. You are into unjustified stress, a kind of mental stress and, and then you need to find out how you can cure yourself because that’s a disease.

Missing an airplane is not justified stress, it is missing an airplane. You can take the next plane. Or you are missing a meeting. That’s not the end of the world. You shouldn’t be stressed. But you can do your best to catch the plane and do your best to see the meeting without worrying.

There are not many people who can handle stress or unjustified stress because people are lost. They don’t know what real stress is, what’s not, what’s justified, what’s unjustified. So that’s why I believe the more significant portion of society is under a big trauma based on unjustified stress or too many triggers leading to different kinds of stressful moments.

But how can you handle stress? First, you need to have mindfulness. So, it would help if you felt the moment. I mean, you need to feel the moment of the trigger; you need to feel the moment of your mood or your state, your chemistry. Because when you are stressed, your chemistry changes, your face gets reddish, and you start to breathe differently. It would help if you felt what’s happening with your chemistry. What happens in the environment if the other party gets stressed or not? Mindfulness is the base for such awareness. If you don’t stop and feel the change in your body chemistry, you can’t address the problem.

If you are not mindful, you are just reacting; you have an autopilot reaction without any decision-making process, resulting in a long-term burden for you.
That is why we need to be mindful when we talk about dealing with stress. We need to be aware of what’s happening in our bodies and what’s happening in the environment. And then we should be mindful of the root cause.

How to Improve Your Work-Life Balance

We should create a work and private life balance for sure. You need to manage your thinking process to create a work-life balance. How much are you ready when you arrive at your job? How much are you prepared to do a good job? How much are you ready to be a good partner? Good father, good son, good mother when you arrive home?

Mindfulness, which is being in the now, is being in the moment that’s again become a potent tool. We should try to stop thinking about work while at home about home while at work.

It would help if you considered your objective or goal with this moment, with this present moment, and then take a position for that moment rather than going around in your mind and visiting different pasts and futures or other things than whatever you are doing now. Being present is everything.

It would help if you did what a child does to learn. A child doesn’t take a pill and learn how to walk. It would help if you learned how to be mindful, be in the moment, cope with stress step by step, and train yourself to handle the moment unstressed and peaceful.

You need to learn something we call being in the moment with a beginner’s mind, being entirely open-minded. You must learn to observe rather than get lost in your thoughts.”