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Stress Management

Stress is bad for your health

Being alive means experiencing stress. Stress as a positive influence helps us move forward, helps us get into action. With this kind of stress we achieve and succeed. On the other hand, stress as a negative influence leads to numerous health problems. Stress makes us fearful, angry and can lead to depression. Stress speeds aging and can kill us - swiftly and without warning, or slowly because our lives have been out of balance for a long time. We have reached a point where the correlation between disease and stress is being described as astonishing.

Unhealthy stress happens because we have too much to do, because we feel we are not in control and because change is happening too fast. Stress has become our constant companion because our lives have become too complicated. We have forgotten the beautiful moments of simplicity. We think that this is just the way it is. The world is moving at a frantic pace and we move anxiously with it.

Stress happens because we think too much. We literally lead a double life – the life of constant activity and reacting to our environment, and the life inside us. In our minds we ruminate about the past and dream about an imagined yet never realised tomorrow. And while this happens, life just moves on – too quickly and without us being truly alive. We are too busy being stressed and we are missing the point of being.

Facts:

  • In our lifetimes we spend about a third at work and a lot of this time we spend being stressed.
  • According to the ABS, one out of every three workers experiences moderate to extreme levels of stress.
  • Work stress costs the Australian economy some $14bn per year.
  • Stress management in the workplace is the responsibility of the employer (OH&S Act).

Information overload, feelings of insecurity, the changing nature of work, fast pace, globalisation and constant pressure for ever-increasing productivity all contribute to the rising levels of stress. Stress has been labelled a ‘world-wide epidemic’. Stress can lead to a feeling of life being a constant roller-coaster. We feel strapped in, we feel out of control and we eventually burn out.

Stress reduction and stress management

Reducing and managing stress is about establishing a point of balance in our lives. It is about learning how to get off the roller-coaster, how to think less and - literally - how to be more in the here and now. When we learn how to do this, we realise that the here and now is about a series of single moments that can be experienced without the stressors we have become so used to. When we learn how to un-stress, we become more engaged in whatever we are doing, whenever we are doing it.

Take a moment to ponder over the following questions. If you answer ‘yes’ to just one of the following questions, your stress levels may be too high and you urgently need to seek ways to reduce this to a more manageable level:

  • Are you feeling overwhelmed on a regular basis? Is it because you have too much to do or is life in general too stressful?
  • Is your life all about work and always thinking about work?
  • Are you unhappy with your peers, your boss, your staff, your partner, yourself?
  • Are you unhappy at times because of the ordinariness of everyday life and you try to contain this unhappiness through wanting more, striving for more, doing more?
  • Do you kill your spare moments with worry, anxiety and keeping busy?
  • Do you daydream regularly throughout your working day – about the future because the presence appears too boring, or has become too fast paced that you can’t keep up, or simply doesn’t satisfy you?
  • Are you often angry?
  • Are you stressed even before you get to your workplace?

A successful stress reduction program requires a number of things, such as a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, regular exercise and ‘me-time’. Ultimately, however, stress begins in our own minds and can only be reduced and managed if we change our thinking. Applying the principles of mindfulness by using mindful strategies helps us to de-stress and restore balance.
 
What’s next?

Find out how Mindful Strategies can help. Explore this website. If you are interested in a free introductory consultation or simply require further information, please contact us at info@mindfulstrategies.com.au

A good way of addressing this topic at your workplace could be a talk during one of your staff meetings or as a breakfast or lunchtime seminar. We deliver one-hour talks to generate awareness about impact of stress on our health and lives and we provide practical tips on how to immediately reduce stress. One hour can offer you a simple yet highly effective starting point towards increased health and wellbeing for yourself and your staff.

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