Summary: Are you looking for stress relief? Is your stress higher at work or at home? Here is how to cope with stress and help those around you benefit.
Dear Dr. Sylvia,
Even though I don’t know Will Smith, I keep getting a whack on the side of my head! At least, it’s only figuratively.
Two employees from different areas of my organization called HR to hand in their resignations.
Too much stress at work was “bleeding through” to their home lives.
Where can we get stress relief and cope with stress at work?
The good news: HR promised changes. The two excellent employees agreed to consider staying if over-the-top pressure can be alleviated.
Yikes, now I have to work with HR to make some changes.
Therefore, we need to move fast. We cannot slow down on our marketing efforts or manufacturing projects.
My question: “Is there anything good about stress?” One more question “Are there any coping methods that can make a difference?”
Above all, I need ideas immediately! Please help.
In addition, my HR team will reach out to you for help.
Is stress a mental health problem?
Dear Super Stressed,
It seems almost all of our clients are having the same dilemma.
For example, CEOs to night managers complain about extreme stress.
Subsequently, I am getting questions like:
“How long does stress last?”
“How much stress is too much?”
“What can we do to help each other cope with stress?”
This type of thinking belongs to everyone. I suggest you take the Stress Quiz to see where your stress resides. Also, there are many more ideas in my STRESS BUSTERS Four-module online program. Meanwhile, Here is one idea to consider.
Further, let’s discuss how to bring these concepts and methods to the workplace and how HR can take the lead.
Firstly, let’s talk about using good stress, called eustress, to fight distress.
All stress was not created equal! Here’s how to cope with stress.
For example, we tend to view stress as an awful, sabotaging, uncomfortable thing we can’t do much about – except let it rob us of our emotional and mental peace of mind, even our physical health.
Moreover, when it’s time to break the hold stress has on your life, when you have finally had enough, I’m with you.
From long and successful experience guiding individuals and work teams, I know there is better cooperation and greater productivity by dealing head-on with your stress.
Further, you need to understand how to tackle the different types of stress.
Most importantly, all stress was not created equal!
Enter EUSTRESS, the stress that can be good for you.
What are the benefits of eustress?
For instance, think about leading a new team or giving a presentation on Zoom. Or, maybe you got your first electric car or a motorcycle and need to learn the best ways to drive your new buggy.
That is to say; initially, eustress doesn’t seem all that good when it pounces. Your hands get sweaty; adrenaline surges through your veins. Perhaps a headache starts to creep into the back of your head.
You know the feeling; your heart is beating out of your chest.
Why do physical symptoms appear when stress is high?
When you are learning anything new, or there is a deadline, you get tense.
Welcome, eustress, the good stress.
It’s good stress because you’ve got adrenaline growing, and you’re paying attention. You become very vigilant; you are careful.
Eustress is good for – alertness, sharp situational awareness, and attention. It’s the eustress that keeps you fit and ready to win.
In like fashion, eustress gets you upbeat, revved up, energized, and full of vim and vigor.
As a result, you get to choose how to embrace eustress… or not.
When new learning is in front of you, which path do you take?
For example, one route is to be courageous despite your lack of confidence. On the other hand, you can panic and let fear have its day.
Fear is the other side of courage; choose which side supports you.
Once you decide the present situation is not a crisis, you can “eustress.”
Eustress will feel much different from the primary fight, flight, or freeze reaction to danger when you examine it.
Likewise, eustress encourages you to improve yourself and have the courage to develop resilience.
Additionally, eustress has emotional and physical health benefits. Research indicates it increases focus and performance.
And, even more good news, it only lasts a short while (not for days or weeks on end).
Self-talk can increase distress if you are not mindful.
Take a minute and think about those thoughts in your head. Most of it is repetitive, pattern-based, and boring.
We call it rehashing, beating a dead horse, going round and round in circles.
And this all happens in your mind.
But, here’s the problem with that repetition. Our self-talk is mainly negative.
The NOTS in your life become KNOTS that activate negative behavior.
You know those “k-nots.” Here are some of the all-time favorites:
- I can’t do this.
- I am not good enough.
- I’m not part of the group.
- I’m not smart, pretty, handsome, fun, etc.
Let’s look at it from today’s perspective.
On the other hand, this constantly changing world demands a higher level of adaptability. That’s what will keep you healthier and happier.
Old reaction patterns will cause you to trip and fall eventually.
Then they will bring you nothing but more problems.
Old thoughts, constantly repeated, keep you stuck in old ways of responding and don’t let you even distantly imagine anything new.
Old beliefs repeated often become a pattern and lead to distress.
Enter your choice for eustress to drive away distress.
To sum up, here is my tip for today:
Get into the habit of associating eustress with courage. Get in the habit of talking to yourself to move away from fear. Shake hands with your bravery.
You oversee your self-talk. Pay attention and decide: eustress thinking or distress thinking?
How HR can take the lead to move employees from distress to eustress.
Set up a lunch and learn session. Have a workbook so people can write using pen and paper. Especially have visuals in the workbook (we have become a visual world predominantly).
My suggestion is to have short statements like, “It’s gonna kill me” (with a big red line through it) to “This too shall pass.”
Another is “I”m inadequate” (red line) and change to “I’m learning.”
And one that says in bold letters,” “What is my best next step.”
Here’s one interesting visual for humor from Albert Einstein
” If A equals success, then the formula is A = X+Y+Z
Where X is work, Y is play, and Z is keep your mouth shut.”
There are many ways to tackle daily stress, so you don’t have to meltdown or quit your job.
Please remember that icky, uncomfortable, and sabotaging daily stress is natural and impacts everyone.
Once you invite eustress to be your friend, the battle to become resilient is almost complete. Then you can be more productive and more collaborative.
Here’s to your success,
P.S. My STRESS BUSTERS online program is ready for work teams and individuals to keep going, grow, and have more fun. You get a discount by clicking the link here.