What are your ‘Stress Factors’?

Stress is becoming more apparent both at work and home these days, so how do we recognise the symptoms?

Thinking ‘errors’ is one place to start

  • PREDICTION – Negatively forecasting future events, ie “I have to submit this report and I know the boss just won’t be happy with it”
  • LABELING – Allow negative thoughts about ourselves, ie “I’m not the sort of person who can handle this”
  • STANDARDS – Setting of unrealistic standards for ourselves to meet, ie “Unlike last time I SHOULD be able to do this, I MUST improve this time. You know, I CAN’T manage this”
  • MAGNIFYING – Talking things out of proportion, ie “I didn’t win that contract, my career is over!”

It could be said we’re all under pressure in some way or another, however, ‘Pressure’ is a prerequisite of ‘Stress’ but on its own it’s a healthy place to dip into but prolonged, we take to burn out or breakdown.

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA)  wrote a report in March 2019 stating it now expects men aged 65 to die at 86.9 years, down from its previous estimate of 87.4 years, while women who reach 65 are likely to die at 89.2 years, down from 89.7 years giving a crude average of 88 years. This, in its own right, is not that devastating but then look at those in high pressure jobs … this figure drops to 69! Now, most jobs in one form or another are moving in that direction so it’s imperative we get control and remove external pressures that result in US suffering stress.

This control is referred to as ‘Locus of control’. Those with Internal locus believe they have control over what happens in their lives. Those with External locus believe it’s others, chance or even fate that have control. Internal locus consequently manage to reduce their heart rates.

In the 1950s, cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman looked into Personality types. Type A & B with the former being more prone to heart disease!

Type A: Can be impatient, critical or aggressive. When under pressure, they find themselves in conflict with others and what they say is final! The positive aspect is that they’re generally high achievers making great managers but not necessarily team players.

Type B: Laid back, calm, friendly and don’t allow things that frustrate others to affect them. Generally dealing with tasks calmly. Working to a high standard and compliment others via praise while allowing individual’s their weak areas.

Do you recognise these traits in yourself or others? It’s never black or white but we normally lean towards one or the other.

Consider the frame of mind you adopt when under severe pressure or stress… what affect does this have on those around you? What about others such as bosses or team members? How do their words or actions affect you? Do you allow their negativity to alter your positive state?

What are you going to do to control your stress? Start by assessing what your stressors are. Think about situations where your levels of stress have risen. About circumstances that you were happy enough and someone else changed the way you were feeling.

To help, type up the following 3 headings creating your personal stress management contract, answer each in turn.

  1. I could ease the impact of stress if I were to start…
  2. I could ease the impact of stress if I were to stop…
  3. I will recognise my personal management when I find myself…

We recognise how demotivating stress can be. Making lives intolerable and work non-productive. That’s why we focus on the cause and then help find a way of Management rather than Cure. Often, cure is the external locus that our internal locus has to deal with!

Contact Neil to arrange your free consultation either by email neil@coachingtosuccess.co.uk or calling 07761 187238 and let’s move towards a stress free, positive thinking and highly motivated life.

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