Back 23.08.2016

Does Stress Make Us Stronger?

It is a good moment to reflect the risks of stress.

“People who are passionate about their work are the type of people wo usually get most exhausted at work, tells Mia Jokineva in Kauppalehti (in Finnish, Kauppalehti, August 16, 2016).

As a head of a hyperpower consultancy, I recognize the phenomenon. Gaia employs highly educated professionals who are passionate about their work, and want to help our clients to make the world cleaner and safer. Many of our staff are millennials, overachievers who battle to find a balance between work, family and leisure.

At Gaia, our Happy Professionals programme has since years focused on the wellbeing of our staff to ensure that pressures at work never mount too high. Stress, nevertheless, is always present. And maybe not all stress is bad.

In July (2016) The Economist wrote about a recent study (Stanford University) which challenges the old views of stress by making a difference between good and bad stress. The new research suggests that same stress, perceived differently, can trigger different physical responses. People who have a more positive view of stress are more likely to behave in a constructive way, and stress may actually motivate and improve concentration.

This does not mean that unreasonable working demands and conditions can be fixed solely with positive thinking. However, in order to create “good stress”, or “eurstress”, we need encouraging examples, and the role of positive atmosphere is decisive.

Continuous focus on wellbeing at work and stress management are part of every successful organisations. Improvements in working atmosphere can lead not only to reduced negative stress but also to better performing organisations.

Pasi Rinne, Chairman of the Board, Gaia