Work processes can be understood as a stream of demanding situations that are perceived, assessed, and coped with by the working individual. A comparison of the neurobiological processing of situations experienced as " non-stressful " versus "stressful" explains declining vitality as a consequence of long-term stress.
Definition of "stress”
"Stress" refers to the physical and mental effects of subjectively perceived burdensome experiences on an individual. Long-term stress has been shown to directly and indirectly reduce physical and mental performance. Classic symptoms of decreasing vitality are irritability, fatigue, waking up early in the morning, lack of concentration, back pain. Compensation behaviors for stressful situations often change, manifesting as increased alcohol, coffee, or nicotine consumption, as well as eating more or less.
The higher the stress level, the longer it takes to physically and mentally recover from stressful situations.
“Burn out" as a healthy physical reaction to unhealthy long-term stress
If the signs of stress are not taken seriously and the stress-inducing overload situation (as "living on one's own substance") lasts longer than approx. 2 to 3 years, the danger of a so-called burn out increases exponentially. Burn out is the body's emergency response to an unhealthy way of living and working.
Depending on the severity, burn out becomes recognisable through strong physical symptoms (deep exhaustion that does not improve significantly even with conventional leave, sudden hearing loss, heart problems, collapse, etc.) or through mental symptoms (sleep disturbances, cynicism, listlessness, depression, etc.).
The importance of mental imagery
The significance of mental imagery lies in the fact that activating positive images allows for easier entry into a positive resource state, which - mediated by biochemical processes in the body - enables a positive approach to challenges.
Therefore, it is important to explore your inner images, to get to know them and face them in order to learn how to influence and control them.
Resilience refers to the ability of an organism to withstand external crises or high demands without breaking and, on the contrary, even growing from them. The concept describes protective factors (resources within the individual and the environment) that act as a shield balancing out irritations/stressors while maintaining one's own functionality.
According to current research, resilience is not an innate trait but can be actively strengthened and trained. Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatee postulate seven resilience factors: optimism, acceptance, solution orientation, moving away from the victim role, taking responsibility, network orientation and planning the future.