Prolonged stress is an everyday component of the workplace that is costing everyone. Employees are feeling burnt out, while employers struggle to maintain adequate productivity output and decrease turnover rates. It’s time to seek professional help managing our nation’s problem with stress management. It’s time to take control and put balance back in life.
The sickness of stress is a weight that resists against any task and can make the simplest job feel impossible. When you let the demands of life pull you in every direction, it causes a loss of focus and fulfillment and you feel stressed out. The demands of the workplace and a lack of knowledge to better manage stress are taking its toll on the employed emotionally, physically and financially.
The symptoms of stress are common and costly. Over $300 billion a year is spent to make up for increased absenteeism, employee turnover, diminished productivity and stress related medical expenses all tracked by the American Institute of Stress.
The American Institute of Stress also reported recent statistics generated from the Attitudes in the American Workplace poll, showing that 80 percent of workers describe feeling stress at work and nearly half of those workers need help and want to learn to better manage their stress. We cannot always change the people around us or the circumstance that cause us stress, but we can change our attitudes and the way we think to dramatically improve our circumstances and how we feel.
Living under conditions of prolonged stress is not only miserable and expensive, it is also physically and emotionally harmful. High levels of stress cause a number of health problems ranging from fatigue, stomach upset and headaches to severe heart problems, chest pain, anxiety, anger and weight gain. Feeling stressed takes away our energy and when we don’t feel well it is difficult to think or function at a high level.
To reduce and manage low energy and other symptoms of stress, there are suggested tools that advise a routine that includes an organized lifestyle, more sleep and positive thought. For most people, being told to do those things is not going to help them make sustainable changes that reduce stress. These steps treat the symptoms of stress, but offer no long-term resolutions to improving quality of life. Yes, to manage stress change is necessary, but these changes need to start with the root of the problem and the way we think. To effectively reduce stress the focus needs to be on treating the whole person, and not just the symptoms of the dis-ease.
Employers are downsizing and restructuring trying to make the most out of every dollar and pinch every last penny. It’s about time we did the same to reach the highest level of productivity out of ourselves in and outside of the workplace. Work related stress does not just impact employee health and job performance; it is easily absorbed into time spent away from the job, contaminating our personal relationships and well-being.
I lived most of my life completely “Stressed Out!” What I discovered is that I was bringing about all of it. What I know now is how to control my mind to filter what I absorb and attract the people and the energy I need to live a happy, successful stress free life.
Wendy Duncan is a professional coach and stress expert who developed the Balance-in-a-Box six week stress program designed to treat the source of prolonged stress and its associated physical and emotional well-being. www.wendyduncan.com