Stress Kills: Is Yours Out of Control?

On the job or outside work stress is arguably one of the most silent killers on the planet, largely because people don’t realize something is going wrong, or they refuse to act on it.workplace stressors

But why does stress contribute to so many aspects of ill health, ultimately leading to death?

It is because often it is untraceable. You may not realize you are suffering from stress overload.

Interested to know if your stress is rapidly becoming out of control? Look for the following tell-tale signs:

Unexplained Aches And Pain About The Body

A little pain here and there is normal, and should be nothing to get worried over; but it can spell a worrying trend when it occurs too often. And this is the case with being overly stressed at work or even worse – all the time.

Muscular pains most commonly occur around the back, neck or shoulder areas, and may be attributed to poor sleep patterns, although it is not always the case. Medications to treat the pain may only yield temporary relief, and you should not rely upon them as a long-term solution.

Frequent Colds And Infections

One thing associated with high stress levels is the negative effect on immunity. Cortisol suppresses the immune system and leaves the body wide open to infection. This is especially troublesome during this pandemic, and necessitates that extra precautions be taken (such as increasing anti-oxidant food consumption).

Poor Sleep Patterns

Insomnia is usually one of the first signs to appear when you are over-stressed, as cortisol does not work by itself. In fact, it recruits the neurochemicals adrenalin and noradrenalin, which enhance awareness, and energy levels.

This is an important function in the mornings when you need that “get up and go” boost to get to work, but not at night when you should be unwinding. Use of heavy stimulant based supplements (such as caffeine) too late at night will cause this to occur.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure involves multiple pathways all experiencing dysfunction for its development, with cortisol happy to oblige. High blood pressure in this case is precipitated by increased retention of water (which increases blood volume), faster heart rate, and blood vessel constriction. All these factors increase blood pressure, so you need to take care to manage cortisol and stress levels.

Frequent Outbursts or Mood Swings

It can be hard to maintain a level head when stress levels are high, causing you to lash out to anyone or simple issues at work that seemingly irritates you. This is not normal behavior, especially if you are generally very level headed. If it does occur, it may be best to reduce work load, and spend more time with family and loved ones in an attempt to relax.

Depression Or Feelings Of Inadequacy

Stress can seriously affect your emotional well-being, especially since it can tear apart relationships with associates. You are likely to be irritable, picking fights, or feel pressured to perform. This can amount to depression, anxiety or feelings of disappointment. Depression is sometimes difficult to diagnose, especially if your organization does not provide a strong support system.

Conclusion

If you find yourself experiencing one or more of the symptoms above with increasing frequency, it is time to take a step back from the burden you have placed on your shoulder. Sometimes, a short vacation, weekend getaway or just a simple trek in the outdoors can do wonders for your wellbeing.

 

 

Dealing with Anxiety in Today’s Turbulent Business

Okay, so besides the normal day-to-day hustle and immense stress of the work environment in the modern world, we have a pandemic to contend with and we don’t know for how long.

Unfortunately, dealing with anxiety has become somewhat of a normal part of work life for many individuals today. Although this problem is not necessarily a new phenomenon, there are certain aspects of modern times that have served to exacerbate the issue.

anxiety

Due to our being so connected through the internet, social media and other forms of media, workers today are not only exposed to the issues in their immediate work environment. Instead, we are shown all of the bad things taking place across the entire nation. Furthermore, we are expected to juggle so many more responsibilities at one time, all while being as productive as possible.

Although anxiety certainly varies in intensity and frequency from employee to employee, there are a few ways to deal with the problem that are beneficial for anyone experiencing this issue.

 

This article intends to discuss a few of these techniques in order to alleviate some of your anxiety, hopefully improving your performance and overall quality of life.

Live in the Moment

Although it may seem obvious when stated, the only point in time in which you will EVER exist is right now. Ironically, most of us dedicate the bulk of our mental energy into the past or future. Anxiety is great at causing us to replay past mistakes in our head and constantly worry about things that have yet to occur.

A big part of dealing with anxiety is to live in the moment. This means focusing all of your physical and mental energy on what is going on right now. Not only does this simplify things for you, it also allows you to get the most performance out of your limited time.

Trying to deal with your entire past and future on a constant basis makes it virtually impossible to appreciate what is right in front of you.

Control What You Can Control

The truth is, many of the issues causing anxiety in your life are beyond your control. This includes global and community issues as well as problems in your personal life.

What you need to realize is that the weight of the world is NOT on your shoulders, even though it can certainly seem like it at times. Anxiety tells you that you should be worried about solving problems that are way out of your hands.

In reality, focusing on-the-job issues that you actually have the ability work on and to resolve is a much healthier response to a problem-filled situation.

It’s Okay to Not Feel Okay

Another side effect of anxiety is a feeling of isolation. People experiencing anxiety on a routine basis tend to feel like they are the only employees dealing with this issue.

Because of this perspective, we often feel like everyone else is much happier than we are, like we won’t be accepted by associates if anyone else knew the extent of our anxiety. It is so important to realize that this is far from the truth.

Everyone on your team is experiencing some degree of anxiety or mental hang up. You are far from alone. Don’t feel like you have to perform your tasks acting as if everything is okay when it isn’t.

Get Help if You Need it

Finally, if your anxiety is something you are having trouble dealing with on your own, then don’t! There is absolutely nothing wrong with reaching out to HR and even seeking professional help for this issue. Ironically, our society welcomes getting help for even minor physical ailments but acts as if doing the same for a serious mental issue is taboo.

Consider this, if you had the flu, you would most certainly seek the appropriate doctor to take care of it. Why would you not seek a doctor that is medically trained in alleviating mental health issues if you are dealing with anxiety?

There is help out there, get it if you need it!

Resilience: The Cornerstone of Your Personal Power

Do you remember when you were a child, and a bully called you a name or made fun of you? If you answered “I am rubber, and you are glue.  What you say bounces off of me and sticks to you,” your answer personified how resilience is the cornerstone of personal power.  Resilience, or the ability to bounce back from difficulties, is the basis for creating your own personal space, view, and power.

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Your personal power depends on how resilient you are.  Life coaches teach that building resilience grows your personal power to cope with challenges and obstacles.  Psychologists have studied the link between resilience and personal power. They’ve determined that these key aspects of resilience help support personal power:

  • Focusing on the Present Supports Faith in Yourself
  • Learning from Your Failures Supports Self-Acceptance
  • Positive Thinking Supports Courage in Your Principles
  • Stress Management Supports Being Yourself
  • Changed Perspective Supports Choosing Your Response
Focusing on the Present Supports Faith in Yourself

Resilience requires focusing on the present. You can’t be resilient if you distract yourself from your goals by worrying about the past or future.  Learning to focus on the present supports your personal power by understanding and giving you faith in yourself.  Since you can’t change the past, you need to focus on what you can do now to improve your future.  Believing that you have the power to shape your future shows your personal control.

Learning from Your Failures Supports Self-Acceptance

Instead of blaming others, resilient people understand how they contributed to a failure. Resilient people are willing to examine their life and look for ways to overcome difficulty.  They use mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.

Acknowledging your role in failure also allows you to own your part in success.  Self-acceptance means you have worked hard to understand yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses.  When you learn from your failures, you build the self-awareness that leads to self-acceptance.  Because you accept yourself, your personal power is built on your resilience to life’s obstacles.

Positive Thinking Supports Courage in Your Principles

Even when bad things happen, resilient people think positively by looking for ways to resolve and overcome obstacles. They don’t let others define their opinions or principles.  Because resilient people stay focused on positive outcomes, they aren’t easily swayed by the negative views of others.  When you think positively, your principles are based on knowing you can and will succeed.  Your belief in yourself creates personal power.

Stress Management Supports Being Yourself

Resilient people experience stressful situations in life. Instead of letting stress overwhelm them, they have learned to manage their lives to work through stress.  Resilient people understand that not everything that causes stress is horrible or never-ending.  Stress can be a motivator and teacher too.

Knowing how to process stress and work through it supports your personal power and being yourself.  Because a resilient person doesn’t allow other’s expectations of them to cause stress, they are free to be who they are.  In fact, being true to yourself often causes less stress once you learn to feel comfortable with your opinions and principles.  Being yourself builds your personal power and allows you to take the time needed to recharge, grow, and achieve.

Changed Perspective Supports Choosing Your Response

Personal power isn’t about control over others. Personal power is control over yourself.  Resilient people’s positive perspective of learning, growing, and living in the present supports the ability to choose the best response to any situation.  Choosing your personal response without interference from negative forces is the definition of personal power.

It’s impossible to build and maintain personal power without resilience. As the cornerstone of personal power, resilience provides the skills of focusing on the present, learning and growth, positive thinking, and stress management.

These skills change your perspective and support your personal power by helping you chose your response despite outside influences by building faith in yourself and your principles, self-acceptance, and the courage to be yourself and chose your best outcome.

Need Assistance Hiring Resilient Workers

If you need some assistance in recruiting and hiring more resilient workers in this uncertain labor market, contact Flexicrew Today.

When IT Hits The Fan How Do You React?

You know how it is. Everything is happening at once, and then one more thing gets added or goes wrong. When IT hits the fan, how do your company personnel react? Do they respond negatively or positively to stress and difficulty?

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Psychologists believe people have a choice of how to react when things get tough. Your workers’ responses can be negative or positive and reflect how well they maintain control. Researchers have divided possible reactions to stressful situations to compare and contrast the differences of being distressed or being resilient.

• Overwhelming or Opportunity
• Blame or Responsibility
• Distract or Commit
• Allow or Act
• Impatience or Patience
• Pessimistic or Optimistic

Overwhelming or Opportunity

When things are tough, do your employees see their situation as overwhelming or as an opportunity? Being overwhelmed by change, challenges, and difficulties is a negative reaction. If things often seem overwhelming to your staff, they haven’t learned effective ways to cope with stress. Their negative response will keep them from overcoming a challenge and achieving more in their careers.

The positive reaction to when IT hits the fan is to see the challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow. People can’t avoid stress. Instead, they can use difficult situations to find new ways to solve problems. As your workers learn to see change as an opportunity, they learn and grow as a person.

Blame or Responsibility

Do any of your team think that everything wrong in their performance is someone else’s fault? Laying blame on other employees or supervisors for mistakes doesn’t negate your employees’ part in a difficult situation. Blaming others gives control away and keeps workers from overcoming obstacles.

Taking responsibility for their own actions allows workers to improve and better their situation. Control over their position and performance is basically theirs. Taking responsibility for their performance allows them to make needed changes to learn and grow.

Distract or Commit

Do your workers spend most of their time fantasizing about running away from their work and responsibilities? When IT hits the fan, distressed people often walk away from the challenge. They may even turn to alcohol and other drugs to distract themselves from their lack of control and their failures. When one of your team can’t face a difficult situation, they may quit their job or end a relationship, and distract themselves with something new. But if they don’t learn to deal with stress, their mistakes will follow them in their career and keep them from achieving new goals.

Resilient employees commit to their goals. They understand that while they may need to adjust their plans, reaching a goal requires commitment. If , on the contrary, they don’t get distracted by difficulties, they are showing signs of resilience.

Allow or Act

Allowing challenges like COVID-19 to keep you staff from company and personal goals is a negative reaction to difficulty. When they blame others, lose your control, and get distracted from finding solutions to work problems, they allow problems to stop themselves and maybe their team from succeeding.

If your staff are resilient, they have a goal and a plan. When they know they have control of themselves, they take action to improve their performance. Because you’re committed to helping your workforce learn and grow, you provide them the tools needed to make changes and overcome challenges.

Impatience or Patience

Challenges can create delays in reaching goals. If your workers are too impatient, they may give up their goals too quickly and never succeed. Even when IT hits the fan, you can’t insist on an immediate solution. Some goals require commitment and patience.

Patience takes practice. Are your employees willing to deny themselves an immediate distraction but instead commit to the work needed to achieve their goals? Taking a break can’t become permanent if they want to succeed.

Pessimistic or Optimistic

Ultimately, how your subordinates react to stress and success depends on if their reactions are pessimistic or optimistic. Pessimistic reactions limit ability to overcome challenges. Optimistic reactions give them the control and skills needed to succeed.

Need Assistance Hiring Resilient Workers

If you need some assistance in recruiting and hiring more resilient workers in this uncertain labor market, contact Flexicrew Today.

Say Thank You to Past Challenges: Gifts That Build Resilience

How do resilient workers get to become resilient in the first place? What makes someone adjust and recover from job stresses?  Resilient workers owe their resilience to past challenges.  How a person copes with challenges builds their resilience for future ones.  Every resilient employee should say thank you to their past challenges because they made the person they are today.

Each time an employee faces a challenge on-the-job, she has the opportunity to learn, grow, and change.  Psychologists believe that when you successfully navigate a challenge, you build resilience to face another challenge later.  Even failure can help build resilience if a lesson is learned from it.

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Here are the gifts that past challenges offer to help your personnel build resistance:

  • Control
  • Plans
  • Goals
  • Commitment
  • Action
  • Past Success
  • Support System
  • Humor
  • Patience
Control

Past challenges teach valuable lessons about control.  To succeed, one must learn the difference between what an individual can control and what she can’t.  When you understand that you control your actions and reactions, you are building the foundation of resilience.  Knowing what you can control helps you focus on how to cope with challenges throughout their career and, in fact, life.

Plans

Reaching a goal requires planning.  Your team may need to organize their time, workspace, or add to their certifications or education.  When faced with a challenge, having a plan allows them to work toward their goals, regardless of distractions.  Having a plan helps make your team resilient when new challenges appear.

Goals

People who aren’t resilient allow life to dictate their circumstances.  They don’t create goals because they don’t believe they can achieve them.  They let challenges overwhelm them instead of having a clear idea of what they want.  Goals provide a sense of purpose and a reason to be resilient.

Commitment

Resilience is staying committed to a goal and finding ways to cope with challenges. When you learn to commit to goals, you become more resilient to other challenges they may face.  People who aren’t resilient give up when presented with a challenge instead of working toward a resolution.

Action

Overcoming challenges requires action. Each challenge in life pushes you to work to overcome it.  As they take action, they learn new and better ways to cope with challenges.  Your experience and knowledge make you more resilient with each new challenge they face.

Past Successes

There’s nothing better than reaching a goal that they’ve worked hard to achieve.  Their past successes build their self-esteem and confidence, making your staff ready and more resilient for the next challenge. Their past successes also provide a framework for how to cope with other challenges.  That helps them to be more resilient, even if the new challenge is unexpected or difficult like COVID-19 has been for all of us.

Support System

To overcome a challenge, an individual team member often needs a strong support system. If the challenge is personal, she may need the support of friends and family.  If the challenge is professional, she may need the help of a mentor or coworkers.  Building a reliable support system provides endless ‘gifts’ for future challenges.  Employees know who to trust and rely on to help them.  That succeeds in making workers more resilient, and helping them cope.

Humor

Many people find that humor helps them cope.  Especially with thorny problems or situations at work.  Instead of struggling with a challenge, they use humor to lessen stress and accept when they fail.  Having a good sense of humor provides an outlet for stress and disappointment, making workers more resilient when faced with another challenge.

Patience

Not every goal is simple to achieve.  Many goals take time, hard work, and patience.  Being able to accept that a reward isn’t immediate helps make workers resilient in the face of delays and disappointments and potential loss of employment.  Patience helps them cope and stay committed to the company’s goals even when they face obstacles.

Past challenges, however painful at the time, truly are gifts that help your workforce build resilience. Coping with past challenges provides a wealth of skills that are needed for resilience.  They owe their past challenges a thank you!

Need Assistance Hiring Resilient Workers

If you need some assistance in recruiting and hiring more resilient workers in this uncertain labor market, contact Flexicrew Today.

Mindset – Developing Resilience

There are three key steps that your workforce will experience as you facilitate their attempt to build greater resilience.

Resilience Bounce back sign

1. Understanding

At this stage, they invest energy into learning about the situation they are facing. If they are dealing with a health concern over COVID-19 diagnosis, then this is the research stage where they set out to learn as much as possible. If they are dealing with financial change or workplace challenge, they will still embark on a research project; it will just be shaped by the situation they are dealing with. The first stage is important because it sets the scene for the next two steps.

2. Managing

In this step, you and your employees begin to learn new behaviors and coping strategies. You help them discover what it looks like to take care of themselves on and off the job properly, from physical and mental health to social and financial health. You should teach them new ways to manage stress and deal with unpredictability.

3. Growth

Finally, there is the growth stage. This is when the experience starts to shift your employees’ priorities. They should now understand what is going on, they are learning how to manage it, and now they are growing into a new reality.

Often, this is when workers building resilience start to notice how grateful they are for everything in their life. Gratitude has a large role to play in resilience.

Resilient workers often share several characteristics. One of the biggest is outlook. To build resilience, they must adopt a positive mindset. Because their attitude is key.

For example, if they view failure as a learning opportunity, then they have a greater understanding and are in greater control of their emotions. This type of positive outlook is key to resilience. This positive mindset will serve as their fuel as they attempt to perform effectively on the job in the face of adversity or change from Coronavirus, the economic situation within your company and employment uncertainty, political polarization and ethnic disruption.

In addition to a positive mindset, there are other contributing factors to resilience. One of which is their support network. It’s much easier to build resilience when they have a safety net of people who like and support them.  This is where you should really focus your management efforts on your workforce with programs to build employee reward and recognition that contribute to their self-worth.

What else?
  • A positive view of themselves
  • Feeling secure in their strengths, skills, and ability to deal with difficult situations
  • Being a strong communicator
  • Being a strong problem-solver
  • Maintaining a never-say-die attitude
  • A strong decision-making ability
  • The ability to put together plans and follow-through
  • The ability to see the bigger picture.
Need Assistance Hiring Resilient Workers

If you need some assistance in recruiting and hiring more resilient workers in this uncertain labor market, contact Flexicrew Today.