Stress affects us all in one way or another at any age, at any time, any where.
We all react differently depending on the circumstances and our make up – what stresses out one person may not affect another at all.
However 80% of illnesses are stress related, costing the economy billions in prescriptions and stress related sickness absence.
Stress is not new – it’s been around since time began but the way we respond has changed. When dinosaurs ruled the earth, our ancestors had two choices – they ether fought their foe (fight response) or ran away (flight response).This is the automatic protective response mechanism which immediately springs into operation when we feel threatened involving biological change which produces hormones, releases sugar and fats for energy, speeds up circulation and respiration as well as increasing the heart rate, ready to fight or flee. All our senses are heightened, enabling us to take swift decisions and action.
However, although the dinosaurs have gone, our stone age bodies remain the same and if we are unable to escape the stressful situation, the hormones are still released, keeping us on “High Alert” and consistently anxious and tense. This build up of stress can trigger a whole range of illnesses.
Our attitudes, beliefs and values also play a large role in determining stress levels – if you have limiting or negative beliefs about yourself, fears, phobias or low self esteem then you will become stressed when you confront a situation which triggers these feelings. For example if you have a negative self image, you are going to be anxious and stressed on an ongoing basis. If you have a fear of flying or public speaking, it will not affect you until you need to fly or do a presentation but at that point, you will be stressed out!
The causes of stress can be numerous but whether personal or professional , it stays with us at both home and work , until it is resolved. Drinking, walking or working out may help in the short term but having an understanding of your own personal stress triggers is essential to be able to control and combat stress.
Stress related absences are rarely confronted or addressed. In some instances, lip service is paid to the issue with the provision of training, which is perceived as a “trendy” session which, once delivered, fulfills the managers’ duty of care. Sadly, this will not stand up in a court of law if an employee decides to take his/her company to court, making the employer very vulnerable and potentially much poorer!
A holistic approach to tackling stress includes organisational and individual stress audits, identifies personality types, explores attitudes , beliefs and values (and the resulting behavior patterns), organisational culture, time and change management,planning processes, support structures as well as offering self help skills and strategies to control and combat stressful responses. Training is designed to meet the organisations needs and offers ongoing individual support and draft stress policies for consultation.
On an individual basis, habits such as smoking, fears, phobias, negative beliefs and poor self image contribute to high stress levels as do relationship issues, worries about children and money.
Skills and strategies can be learned quickly and easily to put you back in the driving seat – in control of your thoughts, actions and feelings
Stressworx 01784 488165