One topic eventually appears in nearly every conversation with my executive coaching clients: stress. Everyone is aware of increased stress. For many, stress is the dominant experience. Let's examine the mechanism, symptoms, and treatments.
Stress is a word imported from engineering, where it refers to pressure sufficient to cause a body to deform. High stress can permanently alter the form and function of the material bearing the load, even to the point of destruction. No wonder that endocrinologist Hans Selye chose stress to describe the reactions of lab rats to his injections of what would later be labeled stress hormones: cortisol, adrenaline, etc. You and I do not need an injection to experience the symptoms of stress; we make plenty of these hormones ourselves.
Some immediate symptoms of excessive emotional stress are: