How to serve a tiebreak at adversity’s grand slams
Richard Sutton’s ‘Stressproof’ aims to help people find calm in the storm, using professional tennis as an analogy
Adversity is part of life and so is our resilience — up to a point. But like Sisyphus in Greek mythology, punished by Zeus to eternally roll a boulder up a hill, only for it to roll back down again, many of us may now feel utterly depleted.
Into the breach steps wellness, stress and performance consultant Richard Sutton. In Stressproof: The Game Plan he addresses the gamut of stress-related issues and attempts to persuade business leaders that they have a “responsibility to shield and buffer those who fall within [their] sphere of influence”.
Sutton gives a detailed description of the chemical and physical reactions triggered by stress. Surprisingly, perhaps, stress is good in the short term and in sporadic episodes, contributing to us entering an elevated “performance zone” and even generating benefits, such as improving our immune systems. These quick adaptations, says Sutton, mean that stress is a temporary superpower...