How Does Stress Affect Performance?
Answering the question "how
does stress affect performance" is very important in pacing out your life change
events and limiting exposure to stressors. It will also help you in planning a
timely stress management program.
Nixon P in 1979, charted out the stress performance curve to explain how stress
Look at the curve. Our ability to perform
increases up to a certain level of stress arousal. This is the healthy tension
or eustress. But if this stress continues uncontrolled and a fatigue point is
reached, any further stress arousal will take the performance level down,
ultimately leading to exhaustion, ill-health and, finally breakdown.
The good news is this: If stress management is applied daily and regularly
before the fatigue point is reached, the stress performance curve can be
straightened up dramatically! Meaning, you can improve your performance level
even up to 50% just by learning to relax! Take a printout of this graph and keep
it with you. If your boss is pushing you too hard without providing a break,
show him/her the graph!
Look at the stress performance curve again and mark out where your
position is now. If it is above the danger level, take immediate steps to bring
it to normal.