I love this analogy from the American Institute of Stress comparing stress to a roller coaster ride: “Some are hunched down in the back seats, eyes shut, jaws clenched and white knuckled with an iron grip on the retaining bar. They can’t wait for the ride in the torture chamber to end so they can get back on solid ground and scamper away. But up front are the wide-eyed thrill seekers, yelling and relishing each steep plunge who race to get on the very next ride. And in between you may find a few with an air of nonchalance that borders on boredom. So, was the roller coaster ride stressful?”
Compare the adrenaline-junky salesperson who gleefully enters the fray every morning, the jaded old-timer who has seen it all, the i-dotting, t-crossing, audit-averse accountant in the payroll department, the unflappable engineer, the relentlessly perky cheerleader, the sensitive artist in the design department, the shoulder-to-the-wheel workhorse. Cliches, yes, but each of these stereotypes exemplifies a possible style of stress response in the office.