Stress is a Dirty Word
In these tough times nothing is certain. There are no jobs for life. Business's are cutting back staff and expect the remaining people to be willing and able to pick up the extra work. Jobs that used to be the staple for your industry are now being outsourced to cheaper off shore alternatives forcing you to take on roles that are not best suited to your experience or natural abilities.
The Formula for Stress
Sudden Change + Uncertainty = Stress
Stress results in a loss of confidence and loss of motivation.
It's not just the day-to-day workers that are feeling the pressure either. Team leaders, managers, directors, in fact all levels of the corporate ladder are starting to suffer the ill effects of stress. From that initial knot in your stomach to a full-blown leave of absence authorised by a doctor, it seems that everyone is experiencing stress daily to some degree.
How We Handle Stress
How people handle stress can sometimes be even more damaging. Working all hours possible to catch up or turning to recreational escapes such as drink or even drugs to provide some respite.
And yet we still don't like to talk about it. Especially when it comes to suffering from stress ourselves. Somehow admitting it, is like telling everyone you're a failure. You're not up to doing the job. You just need to buckle down, get on with it and stop moaning. Stress is a dirty word and people don't like to be labeled with.
Recently a CEO of one of the largest banks in the UK was signed off on long-term medical leave, citing "exhaustion" as the reason.
Once stress has taken root in your everyday life it becomes a heavy burden that you carry into other areas of your life. Your friends and family are the first to feel the effects. It becomes difficult for them to provide any kind of support or advice without you experiencing more stress, which then becomes magnified by guilt. It finally reaches the point where you feel you have no options available to you other than quitting, but you can't afford to do that either, so you just keep on suffering.
Stress has you in blinkers, stopping you from seeing alternatives.
Taking action to resolve stress doesn't automatically mean making huge changes, like quitting your job. A few simple steps can relieve the pressure just enough for you to start seeing clearly again. What these steps are, will be unique to you, which is the main reason why coaching can make such a difference. It's driven by you, with the support and guidance of your coach. So that the solutions created during the sessions are crafted perfectly for you.
What to do about stress right now
Some of the things you can do right now to help are:
- Make a list of all the current issues that are clouding your mind
This is effectively a pressure release valve. By writing down the things that are whizzing around in your mind, you allow yourself to let go of them just a little. The instant result is that you worry about them a little less because you've made a note of them.
- Tell one person that you think you maybe suffering from stress.
It doesn't really matter who it is, just as long as you feel comfortable that telling them won't make things worse. If you can't think of anyone, tell a complete stranger. When you hear yourself telling someone "I'm feeling stressed" , it's like a huge weight has been lifted. Admitting it will make it more real, which may sound scary, but once it's real you can start to tackle it.
- Decide if you are ready and willing to accept help from someone else. The key to resolving stress is to find alternative solutions. But trying to do this on your own can be frustrating and simply make things worse. By accepting and inviting help from others you are opening the door to opportunities you can't currently see.
It's important to recognise that you are not alone, you are not a failure and that just trying to put on a brave face is not the only option. Help is available, but you have to want to be helped.
Don't hesitate to take the first step and get in contact either using the comments box below or send an email via my contact page
Feel free to forward this on to a friend or colleague if you think it would help them too. Or just share it with your social networks, you never know who might need this right now. There is also a great article and video on the NHS Website covering the effective of stress