Reason #: Work Life Balance Means Less Stress
The biggest problem is that most people think they have no choice. But thats not really true.
Remember that work life balance is ultimately created through your choices. Thats also whats causing much of your stress. By agreeing to take on more work when you dont have the capacity or not delegating work that could be delegated, youre creating more stress for yourself.
Here are the choices that you could start making for yourself to relieve a lot of your stress and anxiety:
- Saying no to things that arent priorities.
- Delegating as much as can be delegated.
- Choosing to do things that are priorities .
- Prioritizing your own wellbeing.
The end result is a more manageable workload and more time doing the things that are important to you. Thats going to greatly decrease your stress and anxiety levels.
A Note About Boundaries
Making tough choices requires you to create strong boundaries even at work. Youre only one person and you can only work so much. Being stretched too thin isnt going to help you or your employer.
I know that having boundaries can sometimes feel scary . But it can be done . Saying no kindly is a skill that can be developed.
For an in-depth discussion around setting and enforcing healthy boundaries, listen to my podcast episode about Setting Boundaries For Success.
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What Happens When You Are Stressed
Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to. When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy. This is called the fight-or-flight stress response.
Some stress is normal and even useful. Stress can help if you need to work hard or react quickly. For example, it can help you win a race or finish an important job on time.
But if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have bad effects. It can be linked to headaches, an upset stomach, back pain, and trouble sleeping. It can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off disease. If you already have a health problem, stress may make it worse. It can make you moody, tense, or depressed. Your relationships may suffer, and you may not do well at work or school.
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Five Reasons Why You Need To Manage Your Stress
Do you feel that your stress is poorly managed? Are your family or friends commenting on how you are feeling or behaving? Do you come home from work exhausted and unable to enjoy your evenings? Is your health suffering or is your body feeling out of whack? If you are answering yes to these questions it is likely that your stress level needs to be addressed.
The ability to manage your stress is an important skill to have as stress can negatively impact a host of different areas in your life including work, relationships, health and body functioning. When your stress is well managed its likely that you dont think about challenges too much when they occur, as you are prepared to tackle them emotionally, physically and psychologically. If your stress is unmanaged though, these difficulties can seem overwhelming and insurmountable.
Stress can be inescapable its a part of modern life with all of the responsibilities we have. Here are the top 5 reasons to manage your stress:
Smoking Drinking And Drug Use And Stress
You might find that you smoke, drink alcohol or use recreational drugs to reduce stress. However, this often makes problems worse.28
Research shows that smoking may increase feelings of anxiety.29 Nicotine creates an immediate, temporary, sense of relaxation, which can then lead to withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Similarly, you may use alcohol as a means to manage and cope with difficult feelings, and to temporarily reduce feelings of anxiety. However, alcohol may make existing mental health problems worse. It can make you feel more anxious and depressed in the long run.30 It is important to know the recommended limits31 and drink responsibly.
Prescription drugs, such as tranquillisers and sleeping tablets, which may have been prescribed for very good reasons, can also cause mental and physical health problems if used for long periods of time.32 Street drugs, such as cannabis or ecstasy, are usually taken for recreational purposes. For some people, problems start as their bodies get used to repeated use of the drug. This leads to the need for increased doses to maintain the same effect.33
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Understanding The Effects Of Stress On An Organization
Now that weve covered the impact stress can have on employees, lets look at how it impacts a business as a whole. As is highlighted in an article by Farleigh Dickinson University, the work impact that the symptoms of stress can result in include:
- More missed days
- Workers compensation
- Medical insurance & other stress-related expenses
This makes it clear that relationship between stress and job performance is not a positive one. And if stress becomes a huge issue and a business starts to experience the issues mentioned above, it can even make it hard to acquire new talent. With websites like Glassdoor.com, where former employees can anonymously review their former employer, word can quickly spread about an unhealthy work environment, and it can become a challenge to attract top talent. Ultimately, the result of all of this is lost revenue for a business.
It Badly Affects Relationships
Stress can also cause a number of emotional disorders. People suffering from stress are easily frustrated, angered and irritated. They also become extremely impatient and depressed. Other effects are feelings of insecurity and self-doubt and feeling incapable. The emotional effects on a stressed person can be detrimental on how he or she relates to other people. This is because they try to let out their emotions on the others, which can be too much to take for the person.
They act intensely to the happenings around them, and can easily create problems where none existed. If not managed, it can badly damage communication and trust in a relationship that can easily kill it.
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Stress Management Stress Reduction And Relaxation
What Is Stress and How does it Affect Me?
Stress is in inescapable fact of life. Were bombarded daily with challenges ranging from traffic to bills — from deadlines to last minute changes. Were also faced with a variety of personal problems such as health concerns, poor nutrition, and aging. And we have to deal with our thoughts, which often make us question the wisdom of our decisions, performance, and worth. The answer to why some people manage much better than others with these universal problems has to do with how stress works.
Stress is not unexpected bills, a traffic accident, a canceled flight, or getting laid off from your job. Rather, stress results from interpreting those events as dangerous, difficult, painful, or unfair, and/or feeling that you dont have the resources to cope with them. The fact that stress is the result of how we interpret events explains why some people fall apart during a crisis, while others, facing exactly the same situation, rise to the occasion and perform admirably. As Shakespeare wrote: Things arent good or bad, its thinking makes them so.
Reacting to various events as threats triggers the fight or flight response, which speeds up the heart rate, breathing rate, raises blood pressure, metabolism, and muscle tension. In addition, various chemicals are released that slow down digestion, growth, reproduction, and tissue repair. In other words, chronic stress can be very harmful to your health.
Whats The Cost?
Learn How To React In The Moment
Its helpful to know how to react to stress in the moment. The best techniques can be used anywhere, take very little practice, and provide immediate relief.
In any given situation, you can react in one of two ways: you can change the situation, or you can change your attitude towards it.
The same techniques wont work every time, so youll need to learn what works for you and when it works best.
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Your Response To Stress
Your attitude, personality and approach to life will influence how you respond to stress. Factors that play a part include:
- How you think about a problem
- How anxious you feel generally
- How severely the problem affects you
- Whether you have experienced anything like this before
- Whether you can control what is happening
- How long the event affects you
- How important the outcome is to you
- The different ways a person copes with difficult situations
- Your life experiences and life history
- Your self-esteem
- Whether you have people around who can provide support.
The Type Of Stress Matters
Stress can affect you both instantly and over time .
Acute stress is the body’s instant response to any situation that seems demanding or dangerous. Your stress level depends on how intense the stress is, how long it lasts, and how you cope with the situation.
Most of the time, your body recovers quickly from acute stress. But stress can cause problems if it happens too often or if your body doesn’t have a chance to recover. In people with heart problems, acute stress can trigger an abnormal heartbeat or even a heart attack.
Chronic stress is caused by stressful situations or events that last over a long period of time. This could include having a difficult job or dealing with a chronic disease. If you already have a health problem, stress can make it worse.
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Stress Related To Current Events
We live in stressful times. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 brought with it a wave of anxiety related to health, finances, and more for millions of people around the world. The pandemic forced many people to adjust and adapt major aspects of their lives. For some, this meant working from home instead of heading to the office each day. For others, it has meant loss of employment entirely. No matter who you are, current events have inevitably affected you in some way.
Theres no shame in feeling stressed out by the current state of the world. While current events can be a source of near-constant stress for some, its important to remember that youre in charge of stress, not the other way around. You have the power to stay calm and make the most of your circumstances, even when anxiety is threatening to overwhelm you.
What To Do When Youre Going Through A Stressful Time
Some stressors get resolved relatively quickly and go away . Other stressors are ones you have to cope with for long stretches of time, such as going through a divorce or breakup, managing a difficult health diagnosis, or looking for a new job. It could even be something exciting say if youre preparing for an upcoming move or planning a wedding.
Anything that puts high demands on you can be stressful even positive things, Dr. Schiff says. On these occasions, sticking to your usual routines can be helpful.
There is some reassurance in knowing whats going to happen and when, not to mention that routines promote positive physical and mental health, Schiff says. When faced with events that are scary and largely out of our control, its important to realize what you can control.
Its also important to acknowledge the extra stress youre feeling and perhaps take your stress management up a notch.
Its also a good idea to lean on your social circle in times like these. Spending time with family or friends who make you feel good, or finding a community with whom you share interests or spiritual beliefs, reduces stress, says Alka Gupta, MD, an internal medicine and integrative medicine doctor in private practice in Washington, DC.
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Better Business Management For Fewer Incidences Of Work Stress
Just as important as carving out time for yourself is finding ways to manage your business that result in less stress.
“Without organization and good management, the compressed time schedules associated with modern business can cause stress and make extraordinary demands on people,” according to research by the Small Business Administration. “An effective management structure can reduce stress and channel the productive capacity of employees into business growth and profits.”
Finding employees who can share your responsibilities will go a long way in reducing your stress too. “The heroic single leader is no longer congruent with the burdening demands of today’s leadership,” said J. Richard Hackman, a former professor of social and organizational psychology at Harvard University, in a study on shared leadership. Though the study was published in 2009, the point about “today’s leadership” is more relevant than ever in the always-on business age.
“The most important conditions for effective shared team leadership include a team that is a mature and reasonably bounded group,” said Hackman in the statement. “They must know each other’s strengths and weaknesses in order to identify who to go to for specific tasks. The second condition is being interdependent on one another for some specific shared purpose or goal.”
Tip: Provide training and wellness programs to help you and your employees learn strategies to manage stress levels.
Stress And Your Immune System
In addition to affecting your nervous system, stress also has a negative impact on your immune system. The excessive production of cortisol caused by chronic stress can lead to a compromised immune system in the long run, making you more vulnerable to getting sick. If youve found yourself catching colds and getting infections more often in recent years, it may be a sign that there has been an uptick in your levels of stress.
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Why Is Time And Stress Management So Important
Was there a time in your life that you got so stressed because you didnt know which task to do first? Or you feel like the hours of the day arent enough to get things done, and you get anxious? Its time to learn time and stress management.
We all live a life with stressors, and without finding the equilibrium to manage our time and stress, its a recipe for disaster for your emotional and mental well-being. Family responsibilities and work pressure are demanding as it is, and taking control over your life is always at your reach. Together, lets figure out why time and stress management are essential for our emotional and mental health and how to manage our time properly.
What Can Prolonged Stress Lead To
Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.
We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations,34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels,35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome ,36 or mental health problems such as depression.3 This means it is important to manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to your body and mind.
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How To Reduce Stress Levels With Time Management
If youre looking for tips and pointers on reducing stress with time management, you came to the right place. You will realize that following a schedule causes less anxiety, forms healthy habits, and increase productivity in your everyday activities. Here are some tips you can follow for better time management.
The Science Of Stress And Its Relationship To Disease
When you become stressed, the brain undergoes both chemical and physical changes that affect its overall functioning. During periods of high stress, certain chemicals within the brain, including the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, begin to rise, causing larger amounts of these and other “fight-or-flight” hormones such as adrenaline to be released by the adrenal glands. The release of these chemicals contributes to certain physiological effects, including rapid heart rate, higher blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. When left unmanaged over time, chronic stress can lead to the development of other serious problems, such as stomach ulcers, stroke, asthma, and heart disease.
In addition to the various physical effects of stress, it can also contribute to a number of mental and emotional disorders, including anxiety, phobias, and panic attacks. This emotional stress can make it difficult to focus, make decisions, think things through, or remember things. Stress may also cause irritability, making you easily frustrated and impatient with others, and can even contribute to depression, anger, feelings of insecurity, and relationship conflicts. While the many physical effects of stress can be overwhelming, it is important not to ignore these psychological effects as they also play a large part in overall health and vitality.
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