Innergize News And Views
Stress At Work Gets Bum
Yes we all have stress and that’s a good thing. As I like
reminding clients, “If your body didn‘t have any stress, you’d
Think of stress as if it is a band or continuum that we
move along, with positive challenge stress at one end and
negative dis-tress at the other. And we are always moving
back and forth between the two poles.
Have you ever asked yourself “why
is it that some people experience more dis-tress than others
working in the same environment and under similar conditions?”
may surprise you. How we respond – mentally and physically – to
events around us often has more to do with the unconscious
processing of sensory cues, than with rational thinking.
The good news
That means negative stress (dis-tress) can have its roots in
random, accidental exposure to sensory cues (things
we see, hear, touch, or smell in the environment around us)
activating a conditioned response that is totally outside our
conscious awareness. Our body and emotions can be
hi-jacked by environmental cues we don't notice, and that have
little to do with current experience.
(If you’d like more information on
A better question is ...
“When you find yourself on the negative side of the stress
continuum, how can you neutralize the negative effects?”
There are steps you can take, and we will get to them in a
moment. First it may be worth mentioning
why you should bother. Why
is it worth your time and conscious effort?
Intellectually knowing, that stress costs Canadian businesses
billions of dollars every year in lost hours and health care,
may not fire off your hot buttons. Until you think about this –
the indirect costs may be even higher and they live where you
impairs judgment and decision-making, learning and memory.1
affects short term concentration and the ability to
plan for the long term.
a major factor in high staff turnover and low commitment at
Nadel, Jacobs & Nadel, Dienstsbier
Stress is an
Denial is the single biggest challenge to overcoming stress in
the work place. Many people are reluctant to seek treatment
until dis-tress leads to disease (more accurately labeled dis-ease.)
people understood how little conscious rational thinking,
actually has to do with our stress response and how easily
negative stress can be converted to positive challenge, then
they would be more comfortable and proactive about managing it.
A two minute
Here’s a great technique for common garden variety stress, the
kind we all encounter on a regular basis.
those days when it feels like your office has a revolving door?
The phone and text messages are flooding in? You’re
multi-tasking to the max … and then you just can’t concentrate
anymore. Your thoughts are flying around, but nothing is
What if you
could STOP and take a two minute break that will clear your
Take you into the relaxation response. Lower your heart
rate and your blood pressure. Feeling your breathing deepening
as you neutralize stress, clear your mind and refocus your
Take a test
Minute Stress Buster*
Concentrate for a moment on
something stressful or challenging in your life. Can you notice
your body getting tense? Feel your muscles tightening? Check your
breathing and notice what's happening. Did you
Or is it rapid and shallow – higher in your chest? Okay, now you have a
time and make a mental note of the minutes.
ankle over another. Notice which leg is on top. Either will
extend your arms just below shoulder height, with the
of your hands touching each other.
hand (same side as top foot) and cross the wrist over the
other hand so that your palms now touch.
your hands down, then in (inside) and
up onto your chest. Relax your
that for two or three minutes and you’ll feel your breathing
shift lower and slower in your chest, your muscles relaxing
and your mind clearing. Keep your head upright.
Close your eyes giving yourself a suggestion that they
open again in a specific number of minutes, feeling relaxed
and refreshed. You may be surprised that your eyes do open
within 30 seconds of the time you suggested.
is called Hook-ups or Cooks Hooks, one of the BrainGym™
exercises by Dr. Paul Dennison. Two minutes a day can be like
taking a vitamin for your mind. You’ll have more creative ideas. Great for studying too, but that’s a story for another day.
Five or ten minutes of exercise can do wonders.
walk around the block will get more oxygen to your brain
(brains need oxygen to solve problems.) You’ll have more
creative ideas as well.
Pick up a
book on BrainGym™ and take a two minute body tuning break.
All can be done in an office environment and they will tune
up your mind, brain and body connections without breaking a
more water during stressful times. Water helps flush out the
chemical soup your immune system releases during stress.
Two powerful resources
Many experts recognize that trying to manage stress consciously
may actually be counter productive. Neuro-Linguistic Programming
(NLP) has many valuable, time and field-tested methods for
neutralizing stress. Because NLP works with the neurological
associations running outside of conscious awareness, change
happens quickly and comfortably.
the ‘big stuff’ too
Back in 2005 the European Federation of Psychologists ‘Task
Force on Disaster and Crisis Psychology’ listed NLP and
Hypnosis as two of the preferred treatments for Post Trauma
Therapy. If they work for trauma, and they do – I’ve put it
to the test – then clearing stress is easy.
For those working in high pressure, demanding roles,
periodically getting a little help and clearing away accumulated
baggage of stress can be well worth the investment. Signals to
watch for include lack of concentration, frequent anger,
frustration, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed or burned out.
Many business people turn to the NLP Breakthrough process, as a
quick, effective and comfortable method of clearing away the common
barriers to performance. Negative stress can drain your
productivity. So be proactive about your well being, and you’ll
improve your bottom line as well.
So now you're wondering "how do you create more of the positive
'challenge' stress?" That's a great question. The next news and
views article will definitely have some tips for creating
conditions for 'challenge' stress, at work and at home.
Watch for it.