How Stress Affects Performance

How does stress affect performance?

What are the effects of too much stress?

How can I learn to keep my stress at an optimal level?

How does stress affect performance?

The relationship between stress and performance is one of the most researched phenomena in the field of psychology.

A hundred years ago two psychologists, Yerkes and Dodson, set out to study how stress affects performance. They summarized their findings in the following graph:

What Yerkes and Dodson discovered was that when stress is too high or too low performance suffers. They also discovered that just the right amount of stress actually enhances performance. In other words, you need some stress to perform at your best. “Some stress” is relative to each individual—what may be a lot of stress for you might not be for someone else.

What matters is that you learn how to recognize when your stress is getting too high and your performance is starting to suffer. At that moment you can apply tools to reduce your stress to its optimal level. That’s what Dr. B Performance Coach™ teaches: awareness when your stress is building, and tools to get to reduce your stress immediately.

The optimal balance between stress and performance is often called “The Zone.” When people refer to the Zone they often talk about it in mysterious ways, as if it somehow came over them. Dr. B teaches you that it’s not mysterious. If you cultivate your awareness and you use his tools you can achieve that state frequently.

What are the effects of too much stress?

Unregulated stress can have serious negative effects. Some of them are:

  • Exhaustion
  • Tension
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex)
  • Loss of purpose
  • Loss of faith
  • Burnout
  • Suicide

If you or someone you know are suffering from any of these effects of stress you should seek professional help. These negative effects not only impact you but they affect all of the people in your family, your friends and your work environment.

Dr. Bernstein is a licensed psychologist (California license PSY 14306). In addition his services as a performance coach he is also experienced and qualified to offer services as a psychotherapist.

How can I learn to keep stress at an optimal level?

You can learn to recognize the triggers for your stress and the signs that your stress is building. This awareness is the first step in the Dr. B Performance Coach™ program. Next, you learn to use tools to regulate your stress.

In Dr. B’s program there are nine core tools. When you practice using these tools you can keep your stress at an optimal level so it will enhance, rather than hurt, your performance.