The EFFECT of STRESS
Stress reacts physically in your body the same way “fight or flight” does. If you don’t “fight” or you don’t “flee” the stress will remain INSIDE your body and feed on it internally. Some people can physically move around to “trick” the body into believing the EXTERNAL threat is being addressed, thereby alleviating the INTERNAL stress on the immune system. After all, stress is housed in the body.
WHAT LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS AND LEADERS CAN DO TO EASE THE EFFECT OF STRESS IN THEIR WORKPLACE
• Offer your work associates the chance to talk about the economy, including actual and potential losses. This can be done via intact teams or people who work in close proximity. Create the “we are in this boat together” esprit de corps.
• Anything that ups morale will alleviate stress, whether it is surprise bagels or everyone gets to leave a half hour early today.
• Email everyone a list of things they can do to handle excess stress along with a note of encouragement.
• For chronic stress as it relates to high gas prices or gas shortages, create either a 4-day workweek or at least one day working from home – and this is important – let them be a part of that decision.
• Invite your employees to bring their walking shoes or tennis shoes to work and get them moving (tricks the brain into the flight or fight mode, believing the fear is being addressed).
• Many executives hold their stress in their shoulders, which can be theorized to represent “holding the weight of the world upon their shoulders.” Exercise does help alleviate stress, which also explains why so many executives jog and/or play handball. Some people learn this is where they house their stress when their chiropractors tell them. The truth is that we all house stress in our body, and we need to know where in order to manage it. If, for example, you house stress in your shoulders, punctuate your day with “Where are my shoulders?” Chances are good they are raised when you feel stressful. Likewise, if you lower them while taking a deep breath, you will literally feel stress start to dissipate, thereby offering relief to your immune system.
Manage stress, manage your health.
• NOTE: If the resources are in place, invite employees to a DVD gathering on how to manage stress. Provide popcorn and soda. Better yet, bring in an expert who can speak to these issues, providing encouragement and hope.
5 WAYS INDIVIDUALS CAN ALLEVIATE EXCESS STRESS
1) Your mother was right, “Take a deep breath and count slowly to ten.” This is not just for anger management; it is to handle excess stress.
2) Stay away from other high-stressed individuals – they exacerbate whatever your own stress level.
3) Take a few minutes’ mid-morning and mid-afternoon and simply count your blessings. Most people find just one minute works.
4) Picture something that makes you happy: a laughing baby, your favorite pet, your favorite teacher from grammar school.
5) Combinations of 1 – 4 above.