Stress & Your Performance

10 Jul


 

Welcome to the Yerkes-Dodson law.  Since 1908 psychologists have known that this curve predicts performance under various states of arousal.  Now days we call arousal STRESS.

 

Key findings:

1. Very low and high levels of stress produce poor performance; think a continuum from boredom to fear.

2. Every person’s curve is approximately the same, but where you are based on the arousal/stress curve is personal to your own physical and psychological constitution.  Different people take less or more stress to move along the curve.

3. Everyone has an optimal level of stress during which his/her performance is markedly enhanced.

4. Within limits you can manage your stress level by increasing or decreasing the amount of internal (thoughts and feelings) and external stimulation (everything outside your skin – think “bad boss) you are receiving.  There are a wide variety of ways to do this, from exercising to sleeping to mental imaging.  Murdering your boss is not acceptable, but thinking about murdering him is OK.  Remember, unless you speak, your thoughts are private.

For more go to:  http://on.wsj.com/M3tzaC

Next week: How this stress pattern evolved.

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