Stress is a modern-day disease – a product of society’s competitive demands on the old as well as the young. At school, at work, and at home with the family.

Stress is a modern-day disease – a product of society’s competitive demands on the old as well as the young. At school, at work, and at home with the family. It can affect anyone, the rich or the poor, the cleaning lady and the executive. And it is often the most conscientious who suffer.

I have experienced stress on my own body, and I learned a lot from it. I am deeply grateful, because it meant having to listen. I discovered that I can work 18 hours a day, have many business meetings, be in huge crowds, write and develop ideas, and take lots of responsibility, just as long as I don’t compromise my morals and as long as I therefore avoid dealing with clients or people I can’t stand. In short, assholes give me stress. I simply need to be the one in charge, the one managing my time, managing my tasks, and deciding which individuals I’ll work with closely.

Are you in the danger zone for stress?

What makes your life rich? Are you working toward your life’s dream? Are you living to establish a reputation and a legacy, you can be proud to leave at your death?

I have to live in accordance with my values and keep my agreements with myself (exercise, sleep, diet, interests), otherwise I lose my patience and become less than the best version of my myself.

I have several rules in my life that safeguard me against stress:

1) Delegating. Learning when to delegate and when it’s most expedient to handle a given situation yourself is an important skill to acquire.

2) I plan my days, weeks, months, vacations, and personal time off. I know when I need a break, and I know when I can put the pedal to the metal.

3) I prepare my meetings to be quite efficient. They are short, and I ask people to come prepared. Purpose, agenda, and all participants thoroughly equipped, so we can have efficient meetings.

4) I am immune to the deadlines and stress of other people. The fact that you are facing a tight deadline is not my problem. I turn in things on time, but the fact that you are unprepared is not my emergency.

5) Have systems. Organize, so you have an overview (e-mails, phone numbers, business cards, calendars, folders, keys, etc.) For me, a messy office or home makes my stress worse.

6) Sleep, food, and of course, exercise. Obviously, this is absolutely critical to ensure physical and psychological balance.


New times call for new ways of working and thinking and living. Recent research shows that people who are bored or are not passionate about what they do die sooner than those who are doing something they like. Our bodies are simply programmed to trigger an internal bomb in order to put us out of our misery. Your life is simply shorter. Makes you think, doesn’t it? Being bored at work can be a lot more dangerous than feeling stressed. We often blame our job for our stress, but sometimes it might be caused by general dissatisfaction with other things in life.

So, before you blame your stress on your job, you might want to explore whether that is really the reason, or whether your life design is out of whack.

This article was inspired by Soulaima Gourani:

Written by Kenneth Hogrefe