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心灵鸡汤:如何变压力为动力

2019年11月04日 英语美文 暂无评论
摘要:

凯特马西尼(Kate Matheny)并不是那种逃避压力的人。44岁的马西尼家住科罗拉多州奥罗拉(Aurora),是一名注册会计师,也是两个孩子的母亲,她在职业生涯中曾连续从事过很多压力很大的管理工作。

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Kate Matheny isnt exactly someone who shies away from stress. Throughout her career, the Aurora, Colo., certified public accountant has pursued a progression of high-pressure management jobs. Im hard core, says the 44-year-old wife and mother of two. I wanted to be on top of the food chain [at work], and I wanted to be a great mom -- one who could attend lacrosse games, drive carpool and help with homework even after an hour-long commute and workdays that started, more often than not, with a 5 a.m. marathon-training run.
凯特马西尼(Kate Matheny)并不是那种逃避压力的人。44岁的马西尼家住科罗拉多州奥罗拉(Aurora),是一名注册会计师,也是两个孩子的母亲,她在职业生涯中曾连续从事过很多压力很大的管理工作。她说:“我做事情非常专注投入。我想[在工作上]处于食物链的顶层,我也想做一位伟大的母亲”──一位能够参加长曲棍球比赛、与人拼车出行、工作日通常是以每天早上五点的马拉松训练开始、下班路上花了一小时回家后还能辅导孩子作业的母亲。
That is, until she hit the proverbial wall.
她就是这样的一个人,直到她撞到了众所周知的那堵墙。
After months of losing sleep, dropping weight and feeling pushed to the brink of losing my mind by her juggling act, Ms. Matheny decided she had to address her stress -- and turn it to her advantage. The new job she recently switched to still has its share of pressure, but with more support from her boss and more flexibility in her schedule, she says she feels great.
在经历了几个月的失眠、体重下降和感觉追求面面俱到“将我推到精神崩溃的边缘”之后,马西尼认为必须要解决压力问题──让压力变得对自己有利。她最近换的新工作仍然有压力,但是能够得到老板更多的支持,工作时间也更灵活,她说她感觉特别好。
Contrary to popular belief, stress doesnt have to be a soul-sucking, health-draining force. But few people know how to transform their stress into the positive kind that helps them reach their goals.
与普遍的看法相反,压力并不一定就是一种让人心力交瘁、健康衰竭的力量,然而没有多少人懂得如何将压力转变成能够帮助他们达到目标的正能量。
Recent research confirms that gaining control over job demands, doing work that lends meaning and purpose to life and enjoying support and encouragement from co-workers are all linked to beneficial stress. Simply changing attitudes and expectations about stress -- through coaching, training or peer-support groups -- can also foster the constructive kind of stress.
最近的研究证实,能够调控自己的工作内容、从事能够让自己的人生变得有意义有目标的工作、获得同事的支持和鼓励都可以帮你将压力转化为助力。只需改变对待压力的态度和预期──通过教练指导、培训或同伴支持团队──也可以培养这种建设性压力。
Stress is paradoxical, says Alia Crum, a research scholar in the management department at Columbia Business School who studies how peoples attitudes shape their response to stress. On one hand, it can be the thing that hurts us most. On the other, its fundamental to psychological and physical growth. Our belief system, the lens through which we choose to view and approach stress, will shift the outcome.
哥伦比亚大学商学院(Columbia Business School)管理系的研究员阿利娅克拉姆(Alia Crum)说:“压力是个矛盾的东西。一方面,它可能会对我们造成很深的伤害。另一方面,它对身心的成长都是必要的。我们的信念系统是一面透镜,透过它我们可以选择如何看待和处理压力,它可以改变结果。”克拉姆博士研究的课题是人们的态度如何改变他们对压力的反应。
Employees at a troubled financial-services company were able to change their attitudes toward stress with the help of a video-training program showing athletes, leaders and professionals accomplishing great feats in the face of daunting challenges, according to research led by Dr. Crum that was published this year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. We found a consistent shift in the mind-set among participants, she says, toward seeing stress not as a drain, but as an aid to performance. And, the research showed, people who made the shift were more likely to experience a healthier physiological response during a difficult public-speaking exercise, exhibiting only moderate levels of stress hormones.
克拉姆博士领导的一项研究今年在《人格和社会心理学杂志》(Journal of Personality and Social Psychology)上发表了论文,研究显示,在一家陷入困境的金融服务公司工作的员工借助一项视频培训计划就可以改变他们对待压力的态度,视频展示的是那些不畏挑战取得伟大成就的运动员、领导者和专业人士。克拉姆博士说,“我们发现参与者在心态方面发生了一致的转变”,不再把压力看作是一种耗人的东西,而是将其视为提升自身表现的辅助手段。该项研究还显示,在一次难度很大的公共演讲演习中,成功转变了心态的人更有可能产生比较健康的生理反应,应激激素只达到了中等水平。
Ms. Matheny, the Colorado C.P.A., felt more than moderate stress levels in her previous job as a chief financial officer for an investment company. The smallest snag, such as bad weather delaying her kids school bus, could derail her tightly wound daily schedule. After dropping 20 pounds she didnt want to lose, she says she found herself too weak to enjoy running a marathon. I asked myself, What are you doing?
前文所述的科罗拉多州注册会计师马西尼之前在一家投资公司担任首席财务长,当时她感受到的压力超过了中等水平。最细微的一个小问题,比如恶劣的天气耽误了她孩子的校车,都会打乱她排得满满的日程安排。在并非自愿的情况下体重掉了20磅以后,她说她发现自己太虚弱了,无法再尽兴地跑马拉松。“我问自己:‘你在做什么?’”
Her new job, as C.F.O. for a smaller, less financially stable company, has let her blast her biggest causes of harmful stress. She gained control of her time by cutting her commute to 20 minutes and getting work done from home during off hours while still making time for her kids activities -- which her new boss endorses. She is sleeping better, her weight is rising and she is strong enough to enjoy running again. Work is still extremely stressful, she says. But its not personal stress.
她的新工作是在一家规模小一些、财务状况不那么稳定的公司担任首席财务长,这让她甩掉了产生有害压力的最大成因。她可以掌控自己的时间了:通勤时间缩减到了20分钟,可以下班时间在家完成工作,同时还能腾出时间参与孩子的活动──这一点得到了新老板的批准。她的睡眠改善了,体重正在回升,身体好到可以重新尽情跑步了。她说:“工作压力还是非常大,但那不是个人的压力。”
In a healthy stress response, the heart pumps faster and the brain goes on high alert as stress hormones flow into the bloodstream, temporarily shutting down the digestive and immune systems to devote more resources to the challenge at hand. Stress becomes harmful when these indicators stay chronically elevated, raising blood pressure, damaging the cardiovascular system, compromising immunity and causing aches, pains, digestive upsets and insomnia.
在健康的压力反应中,随着应激激素进入血液,心脏跳动加快,大脑处于高度戒备状态,消化系统和免疫系统暂时关闭,好让更多的资源用于应对手头的挑战。当这些指标长期保持高位,压力就变得有害了,会导致血压升高、损害心血管系统、危害免疫系统并引起疼痛、消化不良和失眠。
It is difficult to reverse an extreme stress response once it is under way, researchers say. More often, people who succeed in turning stress to their advantage make changes in advance, in their mind set or beliefs about stress, or in the way they work or organize their lives.
研究人员说,极端的压力反应一旦出现就很难扭转。更多的时候,成功实现压力对己有利转变的人都是事先在对待压力的心态和理念上做出了改变,或者在他们的工作或安排生活的方式上做出了改变。
When severe stress caused Gary Schmidt to fail repeatedly in job interviews after graduating from college years ago, he tapped a peer-support group for help. He learned, through coaching from other members of Toastmasters International, a nonprofit communication and leadership-training group, to frame challenges as an opportunity to perform well, rather than a threat, he says.
多年前,巨大的压力让加里施密特(Gary Schmidt)在大学毕业后屡次在工作面试中失败,于是他选择了向一家同伴支持团体寻求帮助。他说,通过国际演讲协会(Toastmasters International)中其他成员的指导训练,他学会了将挑战构想成做出更好表现的机会,而不是威胁。国际演讲协会是一个非盈利性的沟通和领导能力培训组织。
The old anxieties struck anew after he was thrust into the job market in 2008. Beset with negative thoughts about what would happen to his finances if he blew his first job interview, he fidgeted, perspired heavily and studded his answers with ummm and ahh, he says. The interviewer rejected him immediately, Mr. Schmidt says.
2008年他被迫再次寻找工作时,过去的焦虑死灰复燃。他说,在第一次面试中,由于满脑子都是万一搞砸了自己的财务状况将会如何这样的消极想法,他坐立不安,使劲出汗,回答问题时满是“嗯”、“呃”这样的字眼。他说,面试官当即拒绝了他。
Recalling his Toastmasters coaching, he approached a later opportunity with a different attitude: Im excited, my adrenaline is pumping, he told himself, visualizing a home run. He nailed the interview, his new boss later told him, and landed the job as a county government-affairs director in Oregon City, Ore.
施密特回想了自己在国际演讲协会接受过的指导,在后来的一次面试中采取了完全不同的态度:他想象着自己完成了一次本垒打,告诉自己,“我很激动,我的肾上腺素在喷涌而出。”他“搞定了面试”(这是他的新老板后来跟他说的原话),得到了担任俄勒冈州俄勒冈市(Oregon City)一名县级政府事务主管的工作。
People differ in their capacity to dial down the stress response. Some are hard-wired by genetics and early-life experience to react more fearfully to challenges. Others who experience early adversity seem to stop responding to stress at all, posting little or no physiological reaction. No stress-management technique works for everyone; many people find their own best tactics through trial and error.
人们控制压力反应的能力存在差异。有些人因为遗传因素和早年的生活经历根深蒂固,面对挑战时表现得比其他人更加害怕。而有些早年经历过逆境的人似乎对压力完全不会作出反应,很少或者没有任何生理反应。没有一种压力调节技巧对每一个人都有效;很多人都是在反复尝试中才找到了适合自己的最佳方法。
For stress to be most beneficial, its important to find meaning in your work, says Debra Nelson, a management professor at Oklahoma State University who has been studying stress for 30 years. You have to have hope -- the will and the way to accomplish what you are trying to do. A 2011 research review in Stress and Health co-written by Dr. Nelson found that even workers doing intense, high-stakes jobs, such as air-traffic controllers and intensive-care nurses, thrive under heavy stress if they are optimistic about the future and find their work meaningful.
研究压力问题已有30年的俄克拉荷马州立大学(Oklahoma State University)管理学教授德布拉纳尔逊(Debra Nelson)说,要想尽量让压力于己有益,发现工作的意义很重要。“你必须心怀希望──完成你试图做的那件事情的意愿和方法。”2011年刊登在《压力与健康》(Stress and Health)杂志上的一篇纳尔逊博士与人共同撰写的研究评论指出,如果人们对未来持乐观态度并发现他们的工作很有意义,哪怕是从事高强度、高风险工作的人在沉重的压力下也会从容应对,比如空中交通管制员和重症监护室的护士。
It also helps to eliminate known predictors of harmful strain, such as a lack of autonomy on the job, an unsupportive boss or co-workers, Dr. Nelson says. Some people, for example, assert themselves by negotiating to trim down impossible work loads or asking for more of the kind of work they enjoy, says Lois Barth, a New York City career coach.
纳尔逊博士说,消除诸如缺乏工作自主性、老板或同事不支持等你知道会导致有害压力的因素也很有帮助。例如,纽约市的职业规划教练洛伊斯巴思(Lois Barth)说,有些人通过与老板磋商减去无法完成的工作量,或者要求给予更多自己喜欢的工作,以此来维护自己的权利。
Desiree Adaway was chronically stressed in a previous job as a senior manager for a nonprofit organization. She traveled half the time, often carrying three phones to respond to clients, co-workers and volunteers, and felt powerless to implement her ideas in a big organization. She often fell ill with bronchitis, her hair was falling out and her weight rose. In 2009, she says, her doctor looked at her, saying, Your stress levels are off the roof.
家住北卡罗来纳州阿什维尔市(Asheville)的德西蕾艾德维(Desiree Adaway)是一位单身母亲,以前在一家非盈利组织担任高级管理人员的时候长期承受着压力。她的工作有一半时间在出差,经常带着三部手机接听来自客户、同事和志愿者的电话,常常感到要在一家大机构里实施自己的想法是那么地有心无力。她经常因支气管炎而病倒,头发开始脱落,体重也增加了。她说,2009年她的医生看着她说:“你的压力大得惊人。”
The exit route she chose -- starting her own business consulting for and coaching nonprofits -- actually compounded her stress by some measures, says the Asheville, N.C., single mother. She continues to work 10-hour days to support herself and put her two daughters, 19 and 22, through college. I have to juggle payroll and cash flow, I have to blog and market myself. . . I go to networking events several nights a week, she says. But her work, helping clients reach their goals, just lights my fire, she says. Now, stress is the kind of tension that leads me to action, and it feels really good. Im exhausted, but Im exhilarated.
她说,她选择的出路──开办了自己的为非盈利机构提供咨询和指导的公司──按某些指标衡量,实际上是增加了她的压力。她继续每天工作10小时来养活自己,供养19岁和22岁的两个女儿上大学。她说:“我必须同时应对工资单和现金流问题,我必须写博客推销自己……我一周好几个晚上都要去参加社交晚宴。”但是她说这份帮助客户实现目标的工作“正好点燃了我心中的火炬”。现在,压力是“激励我行动的一种紧张情绪,这种感觉真的不错。我很累,但是我感到精神振奋”。 verywen.com

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