Todays lifestyle can be tough and for many people the results is stress in both their work and personal lives. Longer hours, tight deadlines, higher expectations, the cost of living and family worries all contribute to increasing our day-to-day stress levels.
If there is one thing that all places of work have in common, it’s change. With change come uncertainty, with uncertainty come fear, with fear comes stress.
let’s look for a moment what stress is, stress actually a good thing! back in the days where we were living off the land, hunting for our food or running away from being food, stress kept us alive. Now instead of protecting us, stress is killing us, and in the thousands!
Stress is the combination of chemicals in our body that allows us to run faster, think more clearly and ultimately survive impending dangers. This stress is more commonly referred to as the fight or flight response.
What I am going to discuss in this blog is that quite a lot of people have become stuck in the flight or fight response reaction and every decision they make or meeting they attend is contributing to an unhealthy lifestyle. Have you ever had a reaction “when you see your boss’s name in your inbox or you are called to a meeting out of the ordinary” like there is a lion on the loose. Well you are not alone.
If we are constantly running around fighting fires, meeting deadlines and trying to keep ahead of the game, stress can take over and start to rule our lives and before we know it, we are nowhere near as productive as we should be. In fact, we are mostly unproductive.
We start to have problems with:
| Anxiety | Memory Problems | Lack of ability to concentrate | Poor judgement | Running thoughts | Worrying too much | Moodiness | Agitation | Feeling isolated | Short temper & a general feeling of unhappiness |
Unchecked we can start to have difficulties with:
| Chest pains | Increase heart rate | High blood pressure | General poor health | Eating more or less | Sleeping problems & nightmares | Nervous habits | Increase consumption of alcohol | Increase in cigarettes |
We are all in some way, shape or form suffering from workplace stress. There are simple techniques you can master to help reduce stress in the workplace and have a good state of mental wellbeing.
Mental well being is described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as “the state in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” WHO stresses that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or illness.
A simple technique to overcome stress is “Mindfulness” Many individuals and organisations, including Change Central, now offer mindfulness training. However, you can start putting mindfulness into practice with a few simple exercises.
One-minute breathing exercise
Sit with your back straight but relaxed. For the next minute, focus your entire attention on your breathing in and out, how air passes in and out of your nostrils, and how your abdomen rises and goes down with each breath. If thoughts start crowding in, gently let them go and refocus on your breathing.
Check in with yourself
Bring yourself into the present moment by asking yourself, ‘What is going on with me at the moment?’ You can label your thoughts and feelings, for example, ‘that’s an anxious feeling’, and let them go. You may start to feel more of an observer instead of someone reacting to thoughts and feelings.
When you’re having a meal, focus on your eating. Do not read or watch TV at the same time. Pay attention to how the food looks smells and tastes. You may find you enjoy your food more, and stop eating when you are full instead of automatically finishing what’s on your plate.
If you are feeling stressed don’t think it will go away, talk to someone, a work mate, a friend or your partner Visit https://www.beyondblue.org.au which is a great site to gain information and learn how to not only cope with stress in the work place – but to overcome it.
If you would like to manage your stress you can contact us and we can discuss your situation.
Visit Change Central to read more. Try and keep calm whilst working and start to overcome stress and anxiety.
The Change Central Team