Take Action: Get Active
Regular physical activity can help prevent and manage stress. It can also help relax your muscles and improve your mood. So get active:
- Aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity try going for a bike ride or taking a walk
- Do strengthening activities like push-ups or lifting weights at least 2 days a week
Remember, any amount of physical activity is better than none!
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A Brief History Of Stress
A key to the understanding of the negative aspects of stress is the concept of milieu interieur , which was first advanced by the French physiologist Claude Bernard. In this concept, he described the principles of dynamic equilibrium. In dynamic equilibrium, constancy, a steady state in the internal bodily environment, is essential to survival. Therefore, external changes in the environment or external forces that change the internal balance must be reacted to and compensated for if the organism is to survive. Examples of such external forces include temperature, oxygen concentration in the air, the expenditure of energy, and the presence of predators. In addition, diseases are also stressors that threaten the constancy of the milieu interieur.
Hans Selye, another early scientist who is known for his studies of stress, extended Cannon’s observations. He included the pituitary gland, a small gland at the base of the brain, as part of the body’s stress response system. He described how this gland controls the secretion of hormones that are important in the physiological response to stress. Additionally, Selye actually introduced the term stress from physics and engineering and defined it as “mutual actions of forces that take place across any section of the body, physical or psychological.”
Excess stress can manifest itself in a variety of emotional, behavioral, and even physical symptoms, and the symptoms of stress vary enormously among different individuals.
What Happens To My Body When I Experience Stress
People react differently to stress. Some common symptoms of stress include sleeping problems, sweating or a change in appetite.6,7
Symptoms like these are triggered by a rush of stress hormones in your body which, when released, allow you to deal with pressures or threats. This is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response.
Hormones called adrenaline and noradrenaline raise your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and increase the rate at which you perspire. This prepares your body for an emergency response.8 These hormones can also reduce blood flow to your skin and reduce your stomach activity. Cortisol, another stress hormone, releases fat and sugar into your system to boost your energy.9
As a result, you may experience headaches, muscle tension, pain, nausea, indigestion and dizziness. You may also breathe more quickly, have palpitations or suffer from various aches and pains. In the long-term, you may be putting yourself at risk from heart attacks and stroke.10
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What Is Time Management And Why Is It Important
Time management is defined as planning, organizing, and dividing your time for specific activities. If you can manage your time properly, it enables you to work faster, smarter, not harder, and stress-free. Time management aims to Work smart, not to be a busy idiot, as they say.
It is important to learn time management techniques so that even the stress and pressures are too high, you can know how to be healthier, happier, and be more productive. The ultimate goal is work-life balance, stress relief under pressure, and overall mental well-being. There are no one-size-fits-all time management steps what works for you might not work for others.
Why Do We Have Stress
There is a purpose for all things and believe it or not, stress is included. Our emotions work as signals to help us recognize problems in our everyday life. Stress hormones help us out when we are put in a fight or flight situation.
But our body’s own stress response can sometimes become an issue when it often signals that there is danger ahead when in reality, there isn’t a threat in sight. This is what leads to stress and as it grows it can put a consistent strain on our health, mental state and overall well-being. Therefore, it is very important that we look for ways to reduce stress in our lives.
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What Are The Different Kinds Of Stress
Social workers and nurses are at particular risk for compassion fatigue, or secondary traumatic stress . As Nair writes in his 2013 book, Evidence Based Macro Practice in Social Work, this stress can stem from a number of factors, such as role ambiguity, overload of work, contradictory expectations, poor preparation or an overly laid-back atmosphere.
Different from burnout, which occurs over time, STS can result from exposure to particularly stressful or traumatic experiences at any one point in time. Those who are new to the professions are at greater risk for STS because they often have not had the time or experience to develop effective coping mechanisms for the types of pain or suffering we can be exposed to on a daily basis, says Goodman.
Instead of isolating when we experience compassion fatigue or STS, it should serve as an alarm bell, says Goodman. We should recognize that we need more supervision and more self-care to be able to cope with the stressors were experiencing.
How Does Stress Cause Chronic Diseases
A chronic illness cannot necessarily be cured but can typically be prevented or managed. Common chronic diseases include diabetes, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and lung disease. Most of these can potentially be prevented with a nutritious diet, proper exercise, tobacco avoidance, and stress management.
You may think of stress as merely a psychological response that affects your mental state and not your physical state. However, studies have shown that chronic stress can negatively impact nearly every system in your bodyeventually making you more susceptible to chronic conditions.
When our minds get stressed, our bodies react by releasing the stress hormone cortisol. The exposure to cortisol is usually nothing to worry about, but when your body is exposed to a constant flow , it can have detrimental effects. Over time, chronic stress can cause the following:
- Increased Risk of Heart Attack
- Weight Gain
Eventually, chronic stress can lead to countless health issues, which can cause more stresscreating a dangerous cycle. The good news, though, is that like most other chronic disease preventatives, stress management is a simple and valuable technique that can reduce your risk for most chronic illnesses.
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The Effects Of Stress On Employee Mental Health
Stress management is important for your health as an employee and a company leader. There are many benefits to managing your stress for your personal health and your ability to perform as an employee.
There are many benefits to managing your stress. There are also many benefits for employers to help their employees manage their stress.
One benefit of managing your stress is not needing as many sick days. As noted above, a side effect of stress can be increased susceptibility to colds and viral infections. According to a survey of 800,000 workers in over 300 companies, the number of employees calling in sick due to stress tripled from 1996 to 2000. You can only imagine what those numbers are today. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work reported that over half of the 550 million working days lost annually in the U.S. from absentee workers are stress-related.
As an employee, even calling in sick to your employer can cause stress all on its own not to mention the fear of falling even more behind or if doing so will put your job at risk. We can already see how employees using more of their sick days can affect employers. So managing stress can be mutually beneficial.
Stress also affects your ability to remember things, process new information, and apply both to analytical tasks requiring concentration. When you are mentally exhausted from workplace worries and tension, you are more easily distracted and prone to make mistakes.
Tip : Identify The Sources Of Stress In Your Life
Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isnt as straightforward as it sounds. While its easy to identify major stressors such as changing jobs, moving, or going through a divorce, pinpointing the sources of chronic stress can be more complicated. Its all too easy to overlook how your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors contribute to your everyday stress levels.
Sure, you may know that youre constantly worried about work deadlines, but maybe its your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that is causing the stress.
To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:
- Do you explain away stress as temporary even though you cant remember the last time you took a breather?
- Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life or as a part of your personality ?
- Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?
Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.
Start a stress journal
A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal or use a stress tracker on your phone. Keeping a daily log will enable you to see patterns and common themes. Write down:
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Coping With Stress At Work
Working hard should not be confused with overworking at the expense of relationships and physical health.
Coping with stress at work.
Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelmingand harmful to both physical and emotional health.
Unfortunately, such long-term stress is all too common. In fact, has consistently found that work is cited as a significant source of stress by a majority of Americans. You cant always avoid the tensions that occur on the job. Yet you can take steps to manage work-related stress.
Is All Stress Harmful To Health
There are several different types of stress, and not all are harmful. Eustress, for example, is a positive form of stress. But chronic stress has been linked to many serious health issues and is the type of negative stress most often mentioned in the news. While we want to manage or eliminate negative stress, we also want to keep positive forms of stress in our lives to help us remain vital and alive.
However, if we experience too much stress in our lives, even “good” stress can contribute to excessive stress levels, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed or having your stress response triggered for too long. This is why it is still important to learn to relax your body and mind periodically and cut down on unnecessary stress whenever possible.
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Tip : Connect To Others
There is nothing more calming than spending quality time with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood. In fact, face-to-face interaction triggers a cascade of hormones that counteracts the bodys defensive fight-or-flight response. Its natures natural stress reliever . So make it a point to connect regularlyand in personwith family and friends.
Keep in mind that the people you talk to dont have to be able to fix your stress. They simply need to be good listeners. And try not to let worries about looking weak or being a burden keep you from opening up. The people who care about you will be flattered by your trust. It will only strengthen your bond.
Of course, its not always realistic to have a pal close by to lean on when you feel overwhelmed by stress, but by building and maintaining a network of close friends you can improve your resiliency to lifes stressors.
Tips for building relationships
Preventing Chronic Illness Through Stress Management
Unfortunately, stress is a part of life and is not always avoidable or controllable. Fortunately, though, you can learn what events trigger stress and control how you react to them. By learning to manage your stress, you can take care of yourself both emotionally and physically in the face of stressful situations. Here are some stress management techniques:
Identify What is Causing Your Stress.
Try to pinpoint the root of your stress and write it down. If possible, try to eliminate that factor from your life. If thats not possible, try to develop strategies on how to handle that situation the next time it occurs.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with stress, take a few moments to yourself and practice some deep breathing techniques. Eliminate all distractions so that you are no longer thinking about what is causing your stress.
Get Outside and Get Active.
Find an activity that you enjoy and aim to get active for at least 30 minutes a day. Whether swimming, cycling, or taking a stroll around a garden, staying active will lift your mood and reduce stress levels.
By maintaining a close circle of friends and family, you can ensure that you always have someone to talk to when you find yourself in a stressful situation. Pets are also a great way to reduce stress. Whether you have a pet of your own or participate in a pet therapy program, stroking and cuddling with a dog or cat has been shown to bring about stress relief.
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How To Manage And Reduce Stress
Here, we would like to start, by giving you an introduction to what stress is, what the signs of stress are, what simple steps you can take when feeling stressed and provide practical advice for preventing it, to show why we are passionate about moving towards a less stressed nation.
Importance Of Stress Management In An Organization
These are tough times. With the economy in a tailspin, people are losing jobsand the future is uncertain due to the pandemic.
Stress is inevitable under these circumstances. And working from home doesnt make it any easier.
Lets look at Rajesh and Maya, two advertising executives who have been working from home for the past few months. It is a tightrope walk between managing their children, household chores, and an increased workload. They are also under great financial stress because of salary cuts. This leads to constant tension and arguments between them.
Have you ever experienced such stress? If so, you are not alone. Stress is regarded as one of the most serious issues of our times. Most of us feel stressed at one point or the other.
Its essential not to succumb to stress and learn about stress management.
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Where Is Your Stress Coming From
Stress can enter your life from all directions. The primary sources of stress and anxiety in your life are known as stressors. Anything can be a stressor even something that serves an important and beneficial purpose in your life. The more important something is to you, the more potential that thing has to be a stressor. Identifying the primary stressors in your life is one of the most important steps towards effective stress management. Below are a few of the most universal stressors these are the aspects of life that can cause stress for anyone.
Why Is Stress Management So Important
Stress management is important as it has powerful impacts on multiple aspects of your life. You have nothing to do about stress as it is a very normal part of life. What you can do is: to control what you might think. Stress management is all about taking charge of your own feelings, thoughts, lifestyle, and how you cope with the problems.
If you can manage your stress effectively, you can:
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Talk It Out With A Friend
When youre feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.
Theyre especially important when youre under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
Advantages Of Stress Management In The Workplace
So far, the discussion has been about the effects of stress at work, but wed like to turn the focus to the benefits of a low-stress work environment.
- Strong company culture: Employees have a major role in a companys culture. Healthier employees operating under manageable levels of stress will be happier and more positive, helping to maintain a strong, healthy workplace culture thats conducive to creativity and productivity.
- Less sick days: Stress is one of the leading causes of absenteeism in the workplace. Not only will less stress in the workplace result in less mental health days, but it will also reduce the amount of sick days taken by employees due to a weakened immune system as a result of excessive stress.
- Employee retention & talent acquisition: Employees who arent overly stressed are much more likely to stick around, and prospective employees are much more likely to work for an employer that promotes a low-stress work environment and takes the initiative to help keep their employees healthy.
- It shows you care: Actively working to reduce stress through measures like stress management programs and policy shows that you care about your employees and their health and happiness.
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