Stress is your body’s automatic response to a danger or demand. Muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, the heart speeds up, and extra adrenaline rushes through your system. This reaction is an age-old survival response. Its purpose is to give the extra strength needed to fight off danger – or to flee from it. It has also been defined as the “rate of wear and tear within the body.” Everyone feels the effects of stress. Stress comes in three forms – physical, emotional, and mental. You, in turn, are affected by stress in all three of – these areas. Stress is a fact of life and some stress can be good for you, because it inspires you to better meet life’s challenges. But too much stress can harm your physical and mental well-being. That’s why you need to be able to control stress – so that ii doesn’t control you.
You cannot eliminate stress but you can manage it. You can minimize the negative impact these types of situations have on you. To take control of the stressors in your life, you need to understand how the stressors affect you. Unless you take time to relax, tensions and pressures build up in your body. Over time this build up of tension will take it’s toll on your body as well as your thinking and emotional well-being. Some of the typical long term ways stress can affect the body are ulcers, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. However, it is the daily stress that builds up to these. Some of the ways that stress shows itself, are sweaty palms, dry mouth,.-stomach trouble, heartburn, tension headaches and restlessness. Once you understand how stress affects you, finding the source can be easy. Some symptoms are easy to overlook.
Listed below are some of the more common signs:
SIGNS OF STRESS
- Hands are cold when no one else’s are.
- Easily upset by things you have no control over, such as traffic.
- You feel rushed and impatient, talking quickly.
- You clinch your jaw muscles.
- You feel burned out or tired all the time.
Stress occurs in every Continental work location and in every job position. Stress can occur during the performance of normal daily tasks or from special situations. All stress isn’t bad. Think about it, when you are faced with a seemingly overwhelming number of things to do, you are forced to set priorities . You stretch yourself and are able to increase the amount you are capable of accomplishing. You can learn to manage your stress and improve the quality of your life by control. However, you must identify what causes your stress at work, home, or in your environment. The top three overall stressors in our lives are death of a loved one, divorce and public speaking. Some others are:
ON THE JOB
- Pressure to meet deadlines / arrival and departure
- Too much / little work.
- Angry customer.
- Conflict with your boss or co-workers.
- Equipment failures.
- Job changes.
IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE
- Low self-esteem.
- Sickness or death.
- Money problems.
IN YOUR ENVIRONMENT
- Noise levels.
- Your surroundings.
These are just a few of the situations that can cause stress. Stress affects people in different ways. The key is to reduce the negative results of too much stress. You can learn to manage your stress and improve the quality of your life. Remember that there is good stress, so focus on the stress that is negative in your life and take steps to manage it.
Of course, it’s not realistic to think you can get rid of all stress. Life would be dull and boring without some stress. However, there are ways in which you can learn to control stress rather than to have stress control you. Work the control methods into daily work habits to help reduce stress.
- EXERCISE – Is a great way to relieve physical and mental stress. Studies show that during exercise, chemicals are released that have a tranquilizing affect on the body. Consider jogging, walking, swimming, bicycling or skiing. Ask your physician what the best exercise for your stress would be. Regular exercise will help with the reduction of stress.
- DEEP BREATHING – Is one of the most effective ways to help reduce stress. The way we breath affects the muscles and tensions we have as well as the way in which we think. When things start to get stressful take a moment, think about the situation then take a few deep breaths while you think about how you plan to deal with it.
- SET ASIDE TIME – Doing something that you really enjoy and doing it regularly can help you reduce stress. Balance work with play. Give some priority to recreational activities, and diversions in order to prevent “burnout.” Don’t forget SLEEP, it is one of the best stress reducers around. Getting the proper amount of sleep will recharge your mental and physical batteries and make a world of difference. Take time out and schedule hobbies that you enjoy, painting, fishing,
gardening, cooking, etc.
- LAUGH – Laughter may be the best medicine for stress. Try to substitute your stressful thoughts with humorous ones. Look at the big picture and see how humorous it could be. Spend more time with the people who make you laugh. If you can see your favorite comedy, take time out to do so.
- GET HELP – You can always contact a friend, or people who have been in the same situation and ask for their advice. Sometimes just getting it out will help you deal with the stress. If your organization has one, you can contact the E.A.P. program in your area for additional help.
- CHANGE – Sometimes the best thing to do is: “Change the things you can, accept those things you can’t change and have the wisdom to know the difference between the two.”
Remember that stress is an everyday occurrence in everyone’s life. You cannot get away from stress, so take some time out of your day to deal with the stress. The little bit of time you spend now could save you a lot of time in the future. So know the signs of stress on your body, find out what is causing them and then take action to control the stress and don’t let it control you.