Dealing with stress (part II)
Today’s missive is the second part of Teresa Heys’ newsletter on stress and well-being management.
As stress is a normal response to danger, what can we do about it? Well, there are various ways to build up your resilience to stress – develop a healthy lifestyle, get enough sleep, develop more realistic ways of thinking, learn to relax more (it can be done, honest!), develop a supportive network of people for different problems, recognise the good things in your life and focus on them and get enough exercise.
Learning new ways of reacting to life’s demands and challenges can be hard work, and it took me about 18 months to really understand what it was all about and what I could do for myself. And there are still times when the stress response kicks in and I find myself falling back into old habits – very recently, someone’s behaviour resulted in my heart pounding, the blood rushing to my face and I started to argue back very heatedly. Not good, and it didn’t help the situation at all. But most of the time, I am much calmer, I no longer have sleepless nights, I can cope with my workload, I laugh far more, and my relationships with other people are much better.
This brings me to the reason why I am working with the Globis Mediation Group on stress and well-being management. The fact that people who are stressed are less likely to be able to maintain good relationships, both at work and in their personal lives. People who are stressed may withdraw, or become more argumentative, or develop bullying or other very aggressive behaviours. There is a shared responsibility in managing work related stress.
Individuals have a responsibility to work with their colleagues and their managers and to do the job they are asked to do, employers have a responsibility to ensure they provide the resources, training etc to enable employees to do their jobs effectively. If either side fails in their responsibilities, stress is more likely to occur and relationships are more likely to suffer.
I am passionate about helping people find ways of reducing their stress and increasing their wellbeing (my definition of wellbeing is simple -it is when you are relaxed and alert and able to face up to life’s challenges and demands).
Finally, I mentioned near the beginning of this newsletter that it would be useful to find other words to describe situations rather than using the word stress all the time, so the next time you find yourself saying ‘That was stressful’ try saying ‘That was irritating’ or ‘That was a busy day’ or ‘That was annoying’. By doing this, you’ll be able to start identifyingthe difference between those situations which really are stressful for youand those which put pressure on you, but you are able to cope with – the first lesson in learning to reduce your stress and increase your wellbeing.