Stress in the work and home environment has become much more prevalent over the past two decades. Even though stress and its related maladies have become a common topic of discussion and concern, the problem continues to escalate. Lost productivity in the workplace now reaches 50 to 100 BILLION annually. We need to make this a personal as well as corporate issue in order to resolve.
- Economically tough times, with pressure to maintain the bottom line.
- Heightened workload, no control over workplace.
- Intrinsic satisfaction at work has diminished, rarely see job start to finish.
- Instead, pay has become the chief reward. This tends to emphasize the type A, overachiever mentality.
- The workplace has been set up to be a competitive environment to enhance production.
- Fear of job loss (ie. downsizing) tends to augment this behavior.
- Family dispute, financial worries, etc.
What Is It?
Stress occurs when an individual perceives threat or harm and judges that their coping resources are inadequate to deal with the imposed situation.
Stress can manifest itself either physically or mentally. This response is largely hormonally based, primarily originating from the adrenal glands, which are situated adjacent to the kidneys. The adrenal gland releases adrenaline, which initiates that classic “fight or flight” response.
What Are The Symptoms?
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
- Constricted blood vessels in skin and digestive track.
- Increased blood flow to muscles, latent cold sweat.
- Decreased function of the immune system, including cancer fighting lymphocytes. Internal fat, mineral, blood sugar levels are distorted
Stress can act as a stimulus for creative change and growth and is actually essential for our survival. Most commonly, however, it is
- Chronic pain
- Irritable bowels
- Skin disorders
- Coronary artery disease
What Do We Have To Do?
We need to find the origin of the problem. This may be more complicated than one thinks since the ailment has usually become multifaceted by the time one becomes aware of the situation. Do not be afraid to seek professional help, education is the key. If you don’t deal with the problem, nobody wins.
Along with professional help, a stress management program should also include:
- Adequate nutrition
- Adequate sleep
- Regular exercise
- Supportive relationships
- Regular program/form of relaxation
- Hobbies, recreation, play
- Positive reinforcement
We also need to become more assertive. “The definition of success is difficult, but if you try to please everyone, you will certainly fail to achieve it.”
We need to use better time management skills, a crucial factor. We also need to accept the fact that some stress in