Quick check list on your stress levels

With the sun shining, all cares disappear don’t they?

Well, with the exception of the expense of additional child minding, taking time out for holidays, the cost and where to go. Work itself quietens down as everyone’s on holiday and this is just one line of thought contributing to stress.

During 2011/12, there were 428k (40%) of a total 1.073m work related absences due to stress being the cause and it is getting worse. This proves palming it off by saying “Oh, they’re just stressed at the moment” isn’t the simple solution.

How do you recognise some of the symptoms of stress? The following may help in recognising it either in yourself or those around you.

Physical changes – ‘Fight or Flight’ as noradrenaline and adrenaline endorphins rampage through your body raising blood pressure and levels of perspiration. Cortisol releases sugar and fat into your system and your immune system reduces in effectiveness!

If your environment means you are stuck in one location, you can neither fight nor leg it so your body is constantly struggling with no release.

Emotional changes – When stressed, different feelings arise, including depression, frustration, anxiety, fear or anger. Often feeding each other with further consequent results in physical changes! Typical signs of both changes can include shortness of breath, indigestion or palpitations. Long term this can even lead to heart attack or stroke!

Behavioural changes – Listen to those around you when they comment on how you have changed. Stress can often make us behave uncharacteristically. When I went through a bout of stress, I became withdrawn, angry and restless nights were in abundance!

So what can we do when these symptoms start? Call on the doctor for a handful of pills? Possibly, but why not look at the following before heading the NHS route.

  • Manage your time – keep and work to scheduled to-do lists. If you can not fit that additional workload in, delegate, re-jiggle your schedule whatever it takes. There is still only 24hrs in one day so plan it and know your limitations.
  • Keep a diary – Understand what is creating these feelings. When feeling stressed, write it down. Identify what you believe to be the cause and fathom out ‘why’ it stresses you.
  • Avoid multitasking – This can be as simple as setting times when you will check your emails rather than as they come through. Learn to say ‘NO’ when called upon to do additional tasks.
  • Support – Look to friends, family, work colleagues or business coach for support. Don not just dump, resolve the situation by discussing a better way through it.
  • Exercise and rest – Take up exercise! I’ve practiced martial arts for 30+ years and recently taken up yoga (much harder than I thought!). Sleep is equally as important to re-energise those batteries too.
  • Meditation – Taking time out and away from the situation can be the first step. Spend five minutes deep breathing, eyes closed, releasing all thoughts is another tool I’ve been taught in both my activities that works!

These are just a few tools that Coaching to Success use to help people and teams through periods of stress. A coach will help you understand better what the cause of the pain is that is being suffered and, together, can help establish a path to forge forward and create a positive, stress free situation that gives clarity and improved productivity too.

If this is an area you feel you or members of your team would benefit from, take that first step to relieve stress by speaking with Neil (07761 187238) or throw him an email at info@coachingtosuccess.co.uk… We are affiliated to the Growth Accelerator scheme and are here to help.

Having read this and got this far, why not check out Neil too by watching our YouTube video HERE.