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It’s National Stress Awareness Month – How Do You Deal?

Although this is the last week of the month, April is recognized as National Stress Awareness Month. Stress is a leading factor to many health issues, along with emotional ones. Stress take its toll on both the mind and body and can have long-lasting effects if not dealt with.

First off, stress is not always bad as the name implies. Stress can actually be a catalyst which can propel one forward; it can identify a situation that has not been dealt with and be a challenge to overcome. Challenge stressors, such as those from the work load, are pressures from time, too much work, or needing to perform at a higher level; hindrance stressors result from being kept from reaching a goal, such as policies or procedures, systems, financial constraints, or office politics. (Robbins and Judge, 2016). It is when these overloads appear too much for one to handle that they overload one’s ability to deal with them. That is when stress leads to problems.

How one copes and deals can predict how effectively they handle stress – or how much. There are individuals who are able to handle a lot, but have good outlets to let their stress out, or they are willing to face the stressor; then, there are individuals who are willing to deal with a situation but hold their feelings in, eventually letting them out in some way; and then there are individuals who hold all of their feelings in for whatever reason (i.e. don’t like conflict, feel they need to be strong, etc.). The last two types will have problems, especially the last one who never deals with their feelings.

The key to effectively dealing with stress is to first be aware of the cause: another person, a situation we are faced with brought on by others, a situation we are faced with which we took on, either voluntarily or because we ‘have to, or from outside forces beyond our means. Once we are aware of the source of stress, it is important to slow down and analyze both the issue and possible solutions; slowing down can be challenging as the stress chemicals tend to ramp us up. Also, recognizing how you do, or do not deal, with stress and then having good outlets or ways to deal with life’s challenges will keep you healthy and happy.

Here are some ways to deal with stress you may have in your life; the more you use them, the easier and habit-forming they become so that any other stressors will not feel as terrifying as we think they are:

  • deep breathing (4-7-8 Rule)
  • progressive muscle relaxation
  • journaling
  • coloring
  • mindfulness (5 things I can see, 4 things I can feel, 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can smell, 1 thing I am safe with
  • gardening
  • physical exercise, i.e. walking, running, playing a sport, Zumba
  • dancing
  • meditation
  • practicing gratitude

These are just a few suggestions but can give you an idea of ways you can get calmer, refocused, and be more in control of your life and what happens within. Awareness is the key, so start paying attention to your physical symptoms, such as stomach problems (even butterflies in the stomach), headaches, back or other pain, restlessness, irritability, crying for no reason, or fatigue (to name a few) as this is the time to use one, or more, of these outlets to get calmer, which will then allow you to determine the best way to resolve the situation. The more you practice, the less stressed you will be, resulting in a happier life.

If you would like help in identifying your stressors and how to effectively deal with them, contact us today to get started: http://www.cyscoaching.com

It’s March Madness – Don’t Allow it in the Workplace

I’m not necessarily a basketball fan, but March Madness is in play – this is when men’s basketball competes to be named the best. It’s been dubbed ‘madness’ as anything can – and does- happen with winners and losers never being a sure bet.

The workplace can seem as if you’re in a ‘March Madness’ type of environment: overworked, under-appreciated, and underpaid. You might see coworkers getting promotions or ripe opportunities or good workers become complacent or laid off. For s0me, this might be the end/beginning of the fiscal year so the pressure is on. You start to question: “When will the madness stop?”

While you can’t control any of these situations that arise, you can control how you perceive them; you can view these as stressors or negative experiences or you can choose to detach from them and see them in a more positive light. We can control our thoughts and viewpoints if we choose to. The more negative we think about a situation, the more negative it becomes, which then becomes a belief which are the hardest to change.

If you find yourself in a negative situation, ask yourself what benefit you are getting from keeping this frame of mind and what leads you to think this way. You might uncover a fear of some kind (layoff, worry about money, jealousy, etc.) for which you can then work to resolve. Continue asking how you can reframe your thoughts and detach from the situation, focusing more on your work and using the skills and talents you have to increase your performance, thereby increasing your self-efficacy (self-belief).

When you do, your confidence and security will increase, as well as your performance and mastery. You don’t have to allow the madness of the workplace to affect you in a negative way. You do have control so make the decision today to “Stop the Madness.”

If you’re ready to stop hating your job and learn how to take back the control, contact us today for your Complementary Discovery Session: http://www.cyscoaching.com.

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