A survey for Mind suggests that one in 11 British workers has been to the GP for stress and anxiety from the financial squeeze.Their survey of 2,050 workers found that about a third were working harder and nearly half worried about the security of their jobs because of the recession.
Nine per cent had been to their GP as a direct result of pressure related to the financial squeeze, and 7% were prescribed medicines like anti-depressants to help them cope. One in five said work stress had made them physically ill, and one in four had been reduced to tears at work because of unmanageable pressure. (Culled From The BBC Website)
These figures are frightening and I am also guilty of getting into situations that would increase my stress levels but I’m beginning to exercise caution.
I think it’s important to blog on the effects of being stressed once again (I’ve written about it before) with a view to expanding various ways of dealing with it as well as showing statiscal evidence of how people are being affected by it daily.
What is stress?
The NHS (United Kingdom) defines stress as the way that you feel when pressure is placed on you. It goes on further to state; a little bit of pressure can be productive, motivating and improve your performance in daily activities. However, too much or prolonged pressure can lead to stress, which is unhealthy for the mind, body and soul.
The common signs include:
- Increased irritability or sensitivity to criticism
- Changes in sleep patterns: difficulty in getting to sleep or waking very early
- Increased consumption of alcohol or cigarettes
- Loss of concentration
The physical effects of stress:
- Racing heartbeat
- high blood pressure
- Panic attacks
- Loss of appetite
The aim of this post is to highlight the impact of stress on your life as well as SOUND THE ALARM and suggest useful ways of dealing with it.
Some times,you think you’ve got everything under control and your body has adjusted to different time scales, activities or conditions. Can I share a secret with you? YOU MAY BE WRONG.(i’m beginning to sound like my dad laugh!!) There’ve been a few times I noticed the warning signals and had to cut back on a lot of projects/activities in order to give myself a break.
Go On, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!!!
In no particular order, here are practical ways to deal with stress;
- Identify the causes of your stress and take immediate steps to resolve them once you notice them creeping up.
- Worry less. It’s easier said than done but you must make a conscious effort to reduce your level of worrying.
- Be realistic with your expectations and don’t bite off more than you can chew because you either end up spitting it out or choking on it. You need to know your limits and avoid taking on too many things. Saying no to a few things or being assertive may be upsetting in the short term but rewarding in the future.
- Appreciate who, what, whom you are. Give yourself some credit and be positive about who you are.
- Manage your time properly and effectively. It’s important you avoid procrastinating, prioritise all your projects and activities with a view to getting the best results.
- Express your feelings cautiously and not in aggressive manner.
- Develop healthy habits.
- Eat healthy foods, regular and well balanced meals.
- Exercise regularly. A bit of walking, running, jogging, going to the gym…. won’t do any harm.
- Wipe off that frown and laugh pleaseeeeeee. Laughter helps to reduce tension.
- Learn to adopt the principle of forgiveness. Sometimes we get stressed, hurt or offended by the actions of people, but it’s important we have an attitude of forgiveness.
- Do something you enjoy every day
- This might be upsetting and slightly controversial but if you can, Avoid people who wind you up, stress you out and see nothing good in what you do.’
- Keep your sense of humour
- Steer clear from unnecessary and unwanted conflicts or disputes. Arguing, shouting… ends up raising your blood pressure.
- Sometimes you need come to terms with the difficult situations you can’t change at the moment(it’s a bit controversial). Living on the principle of being hopeful and optimistic will aid in reducing your levels of stress.
- Get some sleep. Take some time out to rest, relax and recharge your batteries. Relaxation techniques include breathing exercises, massage, complimentary therapies………
- Spend a few minutes praying.
- Don’t subject your body to various forms of drug abuse, excessive alcohol intake, overeating…. with the hope of reducing your stress levels. They only complicate issues.
- Reduce the urge to SPEND, SPEND SPEND and avoid getting into more unnecessary debt.
- Interact with friends and family. A problem shared is a problem solved.
- Sometimes change is absolutely necessary. Your views, perspectives on certain issues may need to change in order to move forward.
- Work hard and smarter, but avoid working too hard pushing yourself beyond limits.(I’m guilty of this)
- Do things for someone else; wait for it…… FOR FREE!!! The Canadian Mental Health Association says giving time for free “gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction that paid work cannot”. Volunteer your time in projects that would help put a smile on the faces of people
- Take a break from your work desk, laptop, folders, files….
- Think of your current crisis as a challenge. This could be an exciting adventure rather than a disaster.
- Seek professional help when necessary.
Once again the aim of the post is point out the impact of stress and suggests various ways of dealing with it.
I look forward to your comments and suggestions.