Stress Awareness Day is 1st November 2017
Stress is a huge contributor to people needing time off work. Surveys suggest that over 10 million people in the UK are taking time off due to stress and stress related illness. Mental health issues, including stress and anxiety are the reason for one in five visits to a GP.
“Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure”. (NHS)
The people that I see regularly, come to me for coaching and other help because they still don’t want to go to their GP AND they don’t want to take time off or alert their employer that they are feeling under pressure.
“The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work”. (HSE)
The mind automatically instructs the body to get ready for any challenge or (perceived) threat. It releases adrenaline, pumps more oxygen to our muscles and lots more. All this enables us to respond to the threat with a fight, flight or freeze response.
This is why stress produces a range of signs and symptoms and what one person notices is not necessarily what someone else will notice, but there are common factors to those who know what to look for!
“Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional response to events that causes bodily or mental tension”.
We are all different! What one person finds stressful may be normal or even exciting for another! What one person notices is happening with them (with physical or emotional symptoms) might be different for another person. The trick is to know how to identify it in ourselves and learn what we can do about it. What works well with one person may not work well with you, so it’s important that you find out what works for you.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO CONTROL YOUR STRESS?
1. Keep a diary
Recognising the things that cause you more stress or pressure will help you identify the causes. It might feel like it’s you whole job, but it probably isn’t really. I know that it sounds like this is adding more to your to-do list (and I really don’t advocate that) but this is one thing that will pay off.
2. Learn a Relaxation Technique
Different things work for different people, so again, it’s about finding what works for you. Sometimes it’s just a simple breathing technique, perhaps learning how to relax your body at night as you lay in bed, maybe you take a walk at lunchtime even if it’s just to grab the sandwich.
3. Disconnect from Social Media
I know, you’ll be quietly dying inside as you read this, but it’s hugely important and VERY effective. Disconnect when you take that walk for your sandwich, leave your phone downstairs at night, switch off when in the car and just listen to the radio, get a separate phone for work so you can switch it off at weekends or during family time.
4. Prioritise Your To-Do List
Writing down all the things you have to do can be very helpful at getting clear on your tasks and priorities. Score their importance between 1 and 10. Look at what you NEED to do, what’s nice to do, what can be left or what can you ask someone else to do? What’s on the list that only you care about? Sort into importance and see what you can leave or delegate.
5. Re-determine Your Power
Look at the things on your list and see what you really have the power over. What you can CHANGE, what you can INFLUENCE and what you need to ACCEPT. Be like an undercover agent from the CIA with your life, your work and your stressors. There are some things we can change, like priorities or how we feel. We can influence how we respond to things and how others perceive our input. There are many things in life we cannot change and instead of getting cross or frustrated at these things, we need to relax into letting them happen and learn acceptance. Put your power or effort into things you can change.
All these can make a huge difference on your stress levels and how your respond to pressure and certain situations. If you struggle to do this on your own or find that you just don’t know where to start then I can help. My coaching can take you from Stress to Success in a personalised way that works out what’s right for you.
If you’re ready to take ownership of your future and change your responses and thought patterns, simply book your initial coaching enquiry call here. If it feels like we’re right for each other we book your sessions and get started!
Originally published at www.emmalangton.co.uk on October 31, 2017.