Simple Secrets To Simplify Your Life From Stress-Beating Singaporeans [W&S 68 ft HappinessScientist]

Managing Digital Stress in the Modern Age

Stress is a common topic of discussion these days. Many people are experiencing stress in their lives, whether it’s from work, personal relationships, or other sources. From never-ending emails and calendar notifications to app updates and bill payments, constant digital tasks bombard us throughout the day.

In this episode, we will explore how stress affects our attention and discuss strategies to overcome it. Sha-En, Happiness Scientist, joins us to discuss recognising causes of stress and establishing boundaries can help manage overload in the long run.


Sha-En Yeo (MAPP, CSP), Happiness Scientist – she enhances the wellbeing and performance of leaders and teams using positive psychology, a 2x TEDx Speaker

Jaslyn Koh, a coach, an advocate for women’s well-being, and also the Founder of The Busy Woman Project, a platform empowering women in Asia to find their own purpose and balance through mental, physical & financial health. 

It’s no surprise that stress can have a significant impact on our energy levels and ability to focus. When we are stressed, our attention tends to be scattered, making it difficult to concentrate on tasks at hand. This can lead to decreased productivity and overall performance.

Defining stress is key

As Sha-En explained, “Stress is an emotional, physical, or mental reaction to a situation.” With a unified understanding, the discussion dove into sources of modern angst.

5 top causes of digital stress:

  1. Never-ending notifications and emails
  2. Social media scrolling and fear of missing out
  3. App and system updates
  4. Bill payments and financial deadlines
  5. Backlogs of unaddressed digital tasks

How digitisation has altered strain?

“Emails are just one thing to clear. We also have DMs on WhatsApp, Instagram, and more. With people on multiple channels, tasks can balloon quickly.”

One of the main reasons why stress affects our attention is because it consumes our mental and emotional resources. When we are stressed, our brains are constantly preoccupied with worries and concerns, leaving little room for focused attention. This can make it challenging to stay present and engaged in the present moment.

To better understand how stress affects our attention, let’s take a closer look at the concept of “stress modules.” Think of stress modules as units of energy that we have available each day. We allocate these modules to various aspects of our lives, such as work, relationships, and self-care. However, when the demands placed on us exceed the number of stress modules we have available, it can lead to overwhelm and decreased attention.

Different Perspectives on Stress: Stress is not inherently negative.

It’s important to note that not all stress is detrimental. In fact, certain types of stress can be beneficial. For example, when we challenge ourselves physically through exercise, it can lead to growth and increased resilience. However, it’s crucial to find a balance between positive stress and overwhelming stress. When stress becomes overwhelming and exceeds an individual’s capacity to cope, it can have detrimental effects on attention and overall well-being.

So, how can we overcome the negative effects of stress on our attention? One strategy is to identify the causes of stress in our lives and find practical solutions to address them.

The Role of Habits and Resolutions:

Sha-En emphasized that merely setting New Year’s resolutions without fundamentally changing one’s mindset and behaviours often leads to failure. For example, resolving to feel less stressed while continuing to procrastinate or neglect self-care routines will likely result in the persistence of stress. The key lies in adopting new habits and structures that promote balance and sustainable well-being.

Practical Strategies to Overcome Stress:

It is important to recognise one’s own limits and adjusting accordingly. For instance, carving out extra time to prepare for a deadline can alleviate stress, but acknowledging that not everyone may have that luxury. In such cases, finding alternative solutions or seeking support from others becomes crucial.

If the cause of stress is poor time management:

We can implement better planning and prioritisation techniques to alleviate the pressure. It’s essential to make changes in our habits and mindset to create a more sustainable and less stressful lifestyle.

Bombarded with people from multiple channels:

Schedules replies to avoid constant availability expectations. Carve preparation time to enter high-pressure scenarios feeling regulated.

However, it’s worth acknowledging that implementing these solutions may not always be practical or feasible for everyone. Some individuals may have external factors, such as family responsibilities or time constraints, that make it challenging to make significant changes. In such cases, it’s crucial to find alternative ways to manage stress and adapt to the situation.

Check in with oneself regularly and assess the level of stress being experienced. Understanding individual tolerance for stress and identifying its causes can help in developing effective coping mechanisms. It is essential to create systems and structures that support well-being, whether it’s setting aside dedicated time for self-care or seeking professional help when needed.

Uncontrollable factors:

Most significantly, recognising uncontrollable external factors prevents self-blame. As Sha-En emphasised, “Don’t beat yourself up over things you can’t control.” Accepting limits empowers you to focus on manageable changes.

One way to manage stress is to check in with ourselves regularly and assess how we are feeling. This self-awareness allows us to evaluate our stress levels and make adjustments accordingly. If we notice that we are feeling overwhelmed, it’s essential to explore coping mechanisms and seek support from others.

Additionally, understanding the definition of stress is crucial in this discussion. Stress is often associated with negativity, but there can be positive aspects to it as well. It’s important to recognise that stress can serve as a catalyst for growth and development. However, when stress becomes overwhelming and surpasses our internal resources, it can have detrimental effects on our attention and overall well-being.

In conclusion, stress can significantly impact our attention and focus. It’s essential to find strategies to manage and overcome stress in order to maintain optimal performance and well-being. By identifying the causes of stress, implementing practical solutions, and finding ways to adapt to challenging circumstances, we can navigate through stress and improve our attention and overall quality of life.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Stress can be viewed as an imbalance between demands and internal resources.
  2. Certain types of stress can be beneficial, but overwhelming stress can have negative consequences.
  3. Merely setting resolutions without changing habits often leads to failure.
  4. Practical strategies include setting realistic expectations, prioritizing self-care, and seeking support.
  5. Regular self-check-ins and adjusting habits to promote well-being are crucial.

Overall, the discussion suggested mindfulness, boundaries, and reconsidering “always-on” norms as approaches to tame digital stress. With awareness and small shifts, modern lives can stay connected without feeling constantly overwhelmed.

You can check their full interview on Wise & Shine, Episode 68 on Spotify, YouTube, Google podcast or Apple podcast for valuable insights into the nature of stress, its impact on attention, and practical strategies to overcome it. Understanding the causes and consequences of stress, as well as adopting healthy habits and seeking support, can help individuals better manage their stress levels and improve their overall well-being. By implementing these strategies, individuals can navigate the challenges of life with resilience and maintain their focus and attention even in the face of stress.

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