“Dr. Gmelch follows a sensible, pragmatic sequence of presentation in this book…. This book would be a definite asset for all academic libraries. In fact, I would urge departmental chairs and deans to issue it to each graduate student completing their program and entering higher education and each new assistant professor joining the faculty.” --Academic Library Book Review Anxiety, frustration, and strain leading to stress and burnout. Who hasn't felt these pressures to some degree? Stress is a common feature of academic life--and not always a bad thing--according to education professor Walter H. Gmelch, who has studied faculty stress for 15 years. “Positive” stress can actually help make you a more productive scholar. But, how do we manage those little (and not so little) annoying moments and patterns of behavior that build up to the boiling point by the end of the week? Based on his extensive research, Gmelch outlines the chief forms of faculty stress and its major causes. He then provides concrete advice on what you can do about the negative stressors in your job and in other areas of your life. Replete with exercises to help understand how stress affects you and forms to help you build a plan to cope with this stress, this book will be welcome relief for any faculty member.
Chapter 3: Use the Power of Perception
Use the Power of Perception
When we are nervous, tense, or uptight, we normally attribute these conditions to outside forces rather than looking within ourselves. We have blamed academia for placing excessive demands beyond our capabilities when in actuality we self-impose probably 80% to 90% of our stress through our behavior, beliefs, and unrealistic goals.
Stress traps, as noted in Chapter 2, come from a myriad of sources. They represent a set of objective demands which can only become subjectively stressful in the way we perceive them. Perceptions, then, become the key to whether stress is received or denied at Stage 2 of your stress cycle. To understand this process, consider the following definition of stress:
The anticipation of our inability to respond ...