How to Talk About Microstresses with Rob Cross & Karen Dillon


Have you ever felt exhausted and stressed at the end of a day, without a good reason why? As it turns out, there’s a reason for this. Microstresses are small moments and interactions that fly under the radar of our fight-or-flight response and affect our body just as regular stress does

. However, unlike stress, we don’t always know how to identify, talk about or push back against these moments. Instead, we let them build up and, in turn, experience heightened levels of stress in the long-term.

Rob Cross and Karen Dillon conducted myriad interviews for their new book, The Microstress Effect, and found that “the stress we create inevitably boomerangs back on us in a different form, and so the less you create, the less you have coming back,” according to Cross. Identifying and changing how we process these moments takes effort, but it’s entirely possible. However, you have to be careful—trying to identify and change experiences that cause microstresses in every area of your life is a recipe for failure. Instead, it’s important to identify just a few areas to work on at once. 

Cross, Dillon and Brilliant Thoughts host Tristan Ahumada discuss how relationships affect your well-being, moments in which Cross and Dillon have taken action to push back against their own microstresses and how we can build resilience and emotional reserves to deal with microstresses in our day-to-day lives. 


The Secret to Building Resilience”“Harvard Study of Adult Development

Rob Cross and Karen Dillon are authors of THE MICROSTRESS EFFECT: How Little Things Pile Up and Create Big Problems—and What to Do about It.

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