Mitigate “Stressful” Events

Best Practices

Life events that cause “stress” include both marriage and divorce, both losing a job and getting promoted, both the birth of a child and the death of a loved one. What is in common among these?

All such “stressful” events cause a sudden shift in your priorities. That shift has predictable cognitive and emotional consequences.

Cognitively, expect to feel crow overload. Suddenly there will be many issues you need to think about, which you didn’t need to think about before. Decisions to be made. Unexpected problems to be solved. You’ll expend extra mental effort to sort things out.

Emotionally, expect internal and external conflict. Your conscious priorities changed suddenly, but your emotional reactions will take time to adjust. For a while, you will feel pulled to take actions that don’t make sense, like talking with a departed parent or divorced spouse. Or going off by yourself, without keeping your new spouse or your new team members in the loop.

Overload and conflict are unpleasant. The faster you can reduce the load or resolve the conflict, the happier you will be. Get skilled at managing overload and conflict on a daily basis, and you mitigate every future “stressful” event.

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