Work Related Stress

January 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment

Protect Your Nervous System From Stress Damage: If you are suffering from any stress system then you have already had an effect on your Nervous System. Your stress may be as a result in a general or specific depletion of certain hormones or nutrients but the fact remains that your nervous system is trying to communicate its present lack of support. Up until now it has coped well now it is weakened. As a first stage to Stress Recovery – take the following natural remedies. Nutri-Calm and Zambrosa fruit juice. The NutriCalm replenishes the nervous system and the Zambrosa supports your immune system – together you will be better able to start to resolve your stress issues.

Nutri-Calm –www.onlinesafetycoach.com/nitricalm

 

Zambrosa http://www.zambroza.co.uk/mindskillshealth/

 

SO WHAT IS STRESS?

The Health & Safety Executive defines stress as: “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them”.

The word stress derives from the Latin word ‘stringere‘ meaning to ‘draw tight’ and was used during the seventeenth century to describe hardships or affliction.

A recent Personnel Today Magazine article showed that over 105 million days are lost to stress each year in the United Kingdom costing UK £3.7 billion.

 

THAT’S 11% OF ALL WORK RELATED ABSENCE 

The Health and Safety Executives official position on the problem is that work-related stress is a serious problem. Tackling it effectively can result in significant benefits for organisations. It states that there are things that can be done to prevent and control work-related stress. And indeed it considers that the law requires employers to take action on the matter.

 

SO IS STRESS A BAD THING

Here’s a surprise… stress could be a good thing!
It’s the driving force that keeps us on our toes and ensures that we push to be the best we can be.
However its usefulness is limited. Too much, and it can drive us to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.
The HSE research is based on responses from almost 700 senior HR practitioners and almost 2,000 employees. Other findings are:

·        52% say stress is increasing

·        60% claim stress is damaging staff retention

·        83% think stress is harming productivity

HSE commissioned research has indicated that:

  • About half a million people in the UK experience work-related stress at a level they believe is making them ill;
  • Up to 5 million people in the UK feel “very” or “extremely” stressed by their work;
  • And as I have said before work-related stress costs society about £3.7 billion every year (at 1995/6 prices).

There can be little dispute however against ever growing research that stress has a significant negative impact on the well-being of both the individual and the organisation. Links have been demonstrated between stress and the incidence of heart disease, alcoholism, mental breakdowns, job dissatisfaction, accidents, family problems and certain forms of cancer.

SO WHAT CAUSES STRESS?

Problems occur when pressures are so great that they exceed a person’s ability to cope.
Therefore we can tackle stress either by reducing pressures, by increasing coping resources – or a combination of the two. Get it in perspective

It is not the things which stress us that cause problems. It’s actually the way in which we react to them. So remember as your temper rises or as you feel emotional, that you have within you the power to react in a completely different way. .

Stress in the early stages can ‘rev up’ the body and enhance performance in the workplace, thus the term ‘I perform better under pressure’. If this condition is allowed to go unchecked however and the body is revved up further then performance will be affected

SO WHAT ARE THE SYMPTONS?

Fig 1. List of Ailments recognised to have stress background.

Hypertension: high blood pressure 

Menstrual difficulties

Coronary thrombosis: heart attack 

Nervous syspepsia: flatulence and indigestion 

Migraine  

Depression – Sleeping Disorders  

Hay fever and allergies  

Hyperthyroidism: overactive thyroid gland  

Asthma  

Diabetes mellitus  

Pruritis: intense itching

Skin Disorders  

Peptic ulcers  

Tuberculosis  

Constipation                  

Colitis


 

SO DOES IT AFFECT OUR BODILY FUNCTIONS?

 

Normal
(relaxed)

Under
pressure

Acute 
pressure      

Chronic pressure.
(stress)

Brain               

blood
supply  
normal    

blood
supply
up

thinks
more
clearly

headaches or
migraines, tremors
and nervous tics

Mood 

happy 

serious 

increased
concentration

anxiety, loss of
sense of humour

Saliva 

normal 

reduced        

reduced 

dry mouth, lump 
in throat

Muscles 

blood supply normal 

blood
supply up

improved
performance

muscular tension and pain     

Heart 

normal rate and blood pressure 

increased rate and blood pressure 

improved performance 

hypertension and chest pains 

Lungs 

normal respiration 

increased respiration rate

improved performance 

coughs and asthma            

Stomach 

normal blood supply and acid secretion 

reduced blood supply and increased acid secretion 

reduced blood supply reduces digestion 

ulcers due to heartburn and indigestion. 

Bowels 

normal blood supply and bowel activity

reduced blood supply and increased bowel activity 

reduced blood supply reduces digestion 

abdominal pain and diarrhoea 

Bladder 

normal 

frequent urination 

frequent urination due to increased nervous stimulation 

frequent urination, prostatic symptoms

Sexual Organs 

(male) normal. (female) normal periods etc 

(M) impotence (decreased blood supply) (F) irregular periods 

decreased blood supply 

(M) impotence. (F) menstrual disorders 

Skin 

healthy 

decreased blood supply    – dry skin

decreased blood supply 

dryness and rashes 

Biochemistry 

normal: oxygen consumed, glucose and fats liberated. 

oxygen consumption up, glucose
and fats consumption up

more energy immediately available 

rapid tiredness 

SO WHAT CAN WE DO TO GUARD AGAINST THE EFFECTS OF STRESS?

Hints to Avoid Harmful Stress

  1. 1. Work out priorities

Keep a list – make the tasks possible. Prioritise the tasks in order of importance and tick off when done. Include the important people in your life as priorities and attend to these relationships.

2. Identify your stress situations

 

Make a list of events that leave you emotionally drained, with one or two ways to reduce the stress for each. When they occur, use them as an opportunity to practise your stress reduction techniques, then, keep notes on what works for next time.

  1. 3. Learn to ‘reframe’ statements: Don’t react to imagined insults

 

It is a waste of time and energy to be oversensitive to imagined insults, innuendo or sarcasm. Give people the benefit of the doubt, talk over the situation with someone you trust. They may have another spin on what was said.

 

  1. 4. Think before you commit yourself to other people’s expectations

 

We can often perform tasks merely to feel accepted by other people. Practice saying “no” to requests that are unreasonable or more than you can handle at the time – rather than suffer subsequent regrets and stress. Consider whether you should learn to rely less on the approval of others, again, talk this over with someone you trust.

 

  1. 5. Move on: Don’t dwell on past mistakes

 

Feelings of guilt, remorse and regret cannot change the past and they make the present difficult by sapping your energy. Make a conscious effort to do something to change the mood (eg mindfulness technique or something active you enjoy) when you feel yourself drifting into regrets about past actions. Learn from it and have strategies in place for next time. Learn to forgive yourself for past mistakes.

 

  1. 6. Learn to defuse anger and frustrations rather than bottle them up

 

Express and discuss your feelings to the person responsible for your agitation. If it is impossible to talk it out, plan for some physical activity at the end of the working day to relieve tensions. Let go of grudges –they do not affect the potential victim because he does not necessarily know about them. However, the grudge-bearer pays a price in energy and anxiety just thinking about revenge.

  1. 7. Set aside time each day for recreation and exercise

 

Gentle repetitive exercise such as walking, swimming, cycling are good to relieve stress. Meditation, yoga, pilates and dance are also excellent. The trick is to find what suits you best. Hobbies that focus attention are also good stress relievers. Take up a new activity unrelated to your current occupation, one that gives you a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Establish new friends in your newly found interest. There are handouts with a range of techniques for relaxation and mindfulness on the website that you can use. The daily mood chart can be used to rate the impact of applying new strategies.

  1. 8. Take your time: don’t let people rush you

 

Frenzied activities lead to errors, regrets, stress. Request time to orient yourself to the situation. At work, if rushed, ask people to wait until you finish working or thinking something out. Plan ahead to arrive at appointments early, composed and having made allowances for unexpected hold-ups. Practice approaching situations ‘mindfully’

 

  1. 9. Take your time on the road: Don’t be an aggressive car driver.

    Develop an “I will not be ruffled” attitude. Drive defensively and give way to bullies. Near misses cause stress and strain, so does the fear of being caught for speeding. If possible avoid peak hour traffic. If caught in it, relax by concentrating on deep (stomach) breathing or ‘mindful driving’ (using mindfulness technique, also available on website). Advanced driving lessons can be useful.

    10. Help children and young people to cope with stress

    Children need the experience of being confronted with problems to try out, and improve their ability to cope. By being overprotective or by intervening too soon, parents may prevent young people from developing valuable tolerance levels for problems, or from acquiring problem-solving skills.

 

11. Think positively – you get what you expect

Smile whenever possible –it’s an inexpensive way of improving your looks and how you feel. Try and find something positive to say about a situation, particularly if you are going to find fault. You can visualise situations you have handled well and hold those memories in your mind when going into stressful situations.

 

12. Cut down on drinking, smoking, sedatives and stimulants

They only offer temporary relief and don’t solve the problem. They can create more problems in terms of physical and mental health. Consider the effects you are looking for (sedation or stimulation) and how else you can achieve them.

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Entry filed under: Health Coaching.

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