Skills to Keep Stress Useful


Awkward stakeholders, tight deadlines or complex deliverables – can become stress inducers for any Business Analyst.

A short while back, I was fortunate enough to attend one of Edinburgh’s monthly IIBA events.  Sue Evans’, the speaker for the evening, navigated the attendees and I through three vital ‘Skills for Stress Success’.   I am hoping the following blog post will allow me to enlighten you to the three skills as much as Sue enlightened me!

What is stress?

Stress can rear it’s (what it feels like mostly) ugly head in many forms, some of the most common include frustration, anxiety and feelings of being upset. The common theme throughout all stresses is – There’s a gap.  The gap is the void between how it is now and what you want. Sue explained the void is uncomfortable, and the more voids you feel you have, the more uncomfortable you will feel.

What can we do about it?

First things first… take stock and Recognise those individual gaps. Change the Situation, use Skills to change the way the mind processes the gaps and be Responsible to take action.

Skills we need to implement in order to reduce stress:


  • Slow your breathing, this allows the body to go back to its optimum chemistry and neutralise any adrenaline, breathing slowly focus on gentle rhythm using the full lung capacity.
  • Change the brain waves – by looking straight ahead, keep your head still and look up to the ceiling (using only your eyes). This combined with the slow breathing will enable you to get back to feeling comfortable.  Read More >>

Too Much Mind Chat

  • The way you talk to yourself in your mind affects the way you feel – try changing that voice, if you find yourself talking in your head in an over critical manner try talking to yourself in a softer tone, quieter or as Sue taught us with an imaginary helium voice!  Read More >>

Your Shield – This skill focuses on your imagination.

  • The shield technique teaches you to create a mental shield which you can imagine the given stress bounce off e.g. a sly comment. The technique isn’t about making you emotionally distant but will give you the choice to choose what you emotionally engage in, allowing what you don’t want to engage in remain separate.  Read More >>

In Summary

I found the evening incredibly beneficial, the practical skills learnt are applicable in both work and everyday life. I have embedded links within the above bullet points which will walk you through the skills, hopefully you will find them as valuable as I did.



In addition to attending IIBA events, to keep my BA Toolbox up to date I’m also working my way through BA Simplified.  This is an easy to follow online course which provides a structured overview of business analysis and what it takes to become an excellent Business Analyst.

Find out more and try Module 1 for FREE



Our easy to follow online course which provides a structured overview of business analysis and what it takes to become an excellent Business Analyst. Perfect for Entry Level BAs, Career Changers or for anyone interested in Business Analysis. It’s also great refresher course for Experienced BAs.

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