The Microstress Effect
How a million little things are dragging you down, and what to do about it.
There’s a force we encounter every day that we aren’t aware of―and it threatens to derail otherwise promising careers and lives: microstress.
This hidden epidemic of small moments of stress has insidiously infiltrated both our work and our personal lives with invisible but devastating effects. Microstress doesn’t trigger the normal stress response in our brains to help us deal with it. Instead, it embeds itself in our minds and accumulates daily, one microstress on top of the other. The long-term impact can be debilitating. Unregistered microstress weighs us down, damages our physical and emotional health, and contributes to a decline in our well-being. What’s more, microstress is baked into our lives. The source is seldom a classic antagonist, such as a demanding client or a jerk boss. Instead, it comes from the people with whom we are closest: our friends, family, and colleagues.
The good news is that once you understand microstress, you can fight back. Drawing on fresh research, Rob Cross and Karen Dillon explain the science behind the phenomenon. They also share the secrets of a small set of people who’ve endured their share of microstress but have still managed to cultivate relationships that enable them to thrive both at work and in life. Compelling interviews with these high achievers bring to life best practices that show you how to build resilience against microstress and ultimately how to find purpose―purpose that helps you break free from this quietly invasive force that’s stealing your life.
Karen Dillon is the former editor of Harvard Business Review magazine and co-author of 3 books with Clayton Christensen: New York Times best-seller “How Will You Measure Your Life?”, Wall Street Journal best-seller “Competing Against Luck: the Story of Innovation and Customer Choice”; and “The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty”, which was a nominee for Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea.
She is also the author of “The Harvard Business Review Guide to Office Politics”. A graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, she was named by Ashoka as one of the world’s most influential and inspiring women and a ”top influencer” by Product Management Review in 2016. She is currently a contributing editor to Harvard Business Review and Editorial Director of BanyanGlobal Family Business Advisors.
Rob Cross has worked with more than 300 organizations as he studied the underlying networks of effective organizations and the collaborative practices of high performers. He has written five books and over 50 articles for Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, California Management Review and other respected outlets.
In his spare time Rob has become an avid cyclist, loves playing tennis, spending time on the water fishing and skiing, hiking, listening to live music and is actively involved in his church. Practicing what he preaches on well-being he recently became PADI certified for Scuba and always looks for another adventure with his two amazing children.