Are YOU Controlling Stress So Stress Does Not Control YOU?

Have you recently moved or started a new job? Do you feel you have too much to do and not enough time to do them? Do you worry about your financial situation? Do you worry about your future? Do you feel your efforts at work or at home go unappreciated?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you are experiencing stress but you're not alone.

Two surveys indicate that worker anxiety is rapidly rising. According to one survey by The Gallup Organization dated October 2002, the vast majority of the employees attribute their stress to the job itself; and the data from a second survey that an employee assistance program provider CompSyche researched shows:

? 48% of employees report high levels of stress.

? 38% report constant but manageable, stress levels.

? 14% report low levels of stress.

Is it safe to say that if you are breathing, you are experiencing stress? YES, because stress is a powerful force in the form of positive and negative influences and is necessary for life. Without it, we often feel empty. We all need to feel excitement, experience enrichment even frustration and thrive under a certain level of stress.

Stress is mentally and emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition when occurring in response to adverse external influences and can create positive and negative feelings. Stress is the "wear & tear" our bodies experience and can attribute to debilitating consequences to our mental and physical health.

In summary, stress is how you react to pressures and is inevitable as long as pressures exist. Keep the pressure and get rid of the stress.

So how do you know you're stressed out? Here are some common signs for burn out. See how many of them you are experiencing.

? You are missing deadlines and unable to make decisions.

? You are not as productive even though you feel like you are working twice as hard.

? You are feeling blue or in a depressed mood for several days without specific reason. You are lacking self esteem, and feeling unable to live up to expectations. You are feeling unappreciated.

? You have weakened relationships at work. You are constantly opposing management decisions and isolating yourself away from your team.

? You have increased level of absenteeism because of poor health. You are experiencing pain in your neck, shoulders and lower back. You are suffering from constant headaches. You can't concentrate and you are tired even after a good night sleep.

To create a stressless lifestyle, you have first to learn to eliminate stress and second manage the stress that you have left.

Apply these tips and practice these techniques to eliminate stress:

? Condition your mind and body to eliminate stress and positively affect the way you perceive the world.

o Get Enough Sleep

o Eat a balanced & nutritious diet

o Exercise

? Avoid adverse external influences that trigger responses that then cause stress

o Don't procrastinate

o Be organized

o Delegate

o Learn to say NO!

o Resolve Disputes

o Like what you do

o Be efficient

o Prepare for next day

o Triage your to do list

o Count to three

o Create a kind commute

o Expectation for yourself

o Talk to someone

o Take a vacation

o Do nice things for someone (unexpected)

And as the final attempt to overcome stress, manage what's left of your stress by focusing on these methods:

o Identify stress factors in your life.

o Avoid alcohol, caffeine and artificial stimulants.

o Muscular relaxation

o Visualize

o Laugh

Vera Haitayan, Principal Consultant of The Leadership Laboratory, a California-based employee development and process improvement consulting firm and is the senior editor of The Stepping Stone Newsletter featuring leadership and process improvement best practices. mailto: [email protected]

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