🧘‍♀️ Rethinking Our Approach to Stress

Stress and burnout levels have skyrocketed over the past few years. You often hear buzzwords like “self-care,” “work-life balance,” and “wellness hours.”

Common advice includes taking time off from work for self-care, going on a vacation, or having a spa day. While important, these self-care methods only temporarily reduce stress levels before you return to your stressful work environment.

The underlying assumption is that your work is inherently stressful. You endure stress now to enjoy yourself later, perpetuating a cycle of stress and recovery. But what if there’s a better way to cope with stress?


🌊 Embracing the Flow: A New Perspective on Stress

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal ExperienceIn his book, “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience,” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D. argues that the best way to cope with work stress is by improving the overall quality of your experiences.

He suggests setting personal goals, focusing on them, and refining your skills through feedback. In essence, transforming your work into “flow” activities.


🔍 Stress is Subjective

People react differently to the same situation. Some view challenges as threats to avoid, while others see them as opportunities for growth and development. 

Stress is subjective. If you don’t perceive a situation as threatening, it won’t have a negative impact. By shifting your mindset to view challenges as opportunities for personal growth, you can reduce stress and gain positive experiences.


🚀 Developing the Autotelic Personality

Is it possible to transform stressful work or situations into opportunities for personal growth? Yes!

Csikszentmihalyi believes developing an “autotelic” personality is key. An autotelic person finds purpose, enjoyment, and reward in any situation. They are rarely bored or anxious and can transform potential threats into enjoyable challenges.


📚 Becoming an Autotelic Person: A Three-Step Process

According to Csikszentmihalyi, there are three steps to becoming an autotelic person:


1️. Unselfconscious self-assurance

2️. Focusing attention on the world

3️. Discovering new solutions


1️⃣ Unselfconscious self-assurance:

Unselfconscious self-assurance is about having confidence in your abilities and control over your life without being overly focused on yourself. It’s about striking a balance between self-awareness and humility.

 This mindset allows you to approach challenges with a sense of inner strength and the belief that you can overcome obstacles. 


2️⃣ Focusing attention on the world:

Focusing attention on the world means being aware of the context within which you operate and understanding how your actions and goals relate to the bigger picture. 

It’s about staying connected to the world around you while pursuing your personal objectives. 


3️⃣ Discovering new solutions:

Discovering new solutions is about staying open-minded and adaptable when faced with challenges or setbacks. 

It’s about being willing to modify your goals or find alternative paths when your original plan doesn’t work out.


By developing these three aspects of an autotelic personality, you’ll be better equipped to handle stress and turn difficult situations into opportunities for personal growth and development.


🎨 Living Like an Original Artist

Csikszentmihalyi likens this process to that of an original artist. Instead of sticking to a preconceived idea, original artists adapt to new situations and respond to the evolving nature of their work.


🚀 Embrace the Change: Take Action Today

Stress is an inevitable part of life, but it doesn’t have to control you. By rethinking your approach to stress and adopting an autotelic mindset, you can transform challenges into opportunities for growth and find enjoyment in any situation.


Don’t wait for tomorrow to start your journey towards a more fulfilled, balanced, and stress-resilient life. Begin by applying the three steps of becoming an autotelic person and take action today! Embrace the flow and cultivate an autotelic personality to unlock your full potential!