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What do you think about stress?

In my view some stress can be normal, and can help you complete tasks efficiently. It can even boost memory. However, stress is the bodies’ early warning system, producing the fight or Flight response.  This response floods the body with chemicals like cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.  If this response continues over a long period of time this can be a big factor in physical and mental illness.  Prolonged stress can weaken the immune system, increase blood pressure and cause digestive problems.

What level of stress do you think is abnormal?

It may be hard to tell when you’re experiencing good or bad stress, but there are important ways that your body lets you know that you’re struggling with too much stress. Watch out for the following warning signs:

• Inability to concentrate or complete tasks

• Frequent coughs/ colds

• Body aches

• Other illnesses like autoimmune diseases flare up

• Headaches

• Irritability and lack of concentration

• Trouble falling sleeping or staying awake

• Changes in appetite

• Worrying constantly, and feeling that something bad is going to happen

 • Feeling overwhelmed, and unable to cope

• Feeling anxious, and perhaps experiencing anxiety attacks

When do you class it as something you should see someone about or resolve?

Stress is no longer helpful when it exceeds your ability to cope. If your stress is interfering with your capacity to be happy and lead an emotionally rewarding life, then it may be time to seek professional help. This is especially true if it is persistent. You may also want to talk to your doctor or a counsellor if your stress is causing you to experience physical symptoms or worsening of a chronic medical condition. Finally, seek professional help if you find yourself “treating” your stress by misuse or abuse of alcohol or drugs, or by engaging in other unhealthy behaviours.

How would you describe it?

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling anxious, irritable or depressed
  • Apathy loss of interest
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle tension
  • Stomach problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of sex drive

Do you have any tips for those who have a lot of workplace stress?

1. Track your stressors. Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. …

 2. Develop a good support system at work, perhaps with a particular co-worker.

3. Speak to someone who is close to you and who is a good listener

4. Don’t isolate yourself look for support from friends and family

5.  Build new relationships ….join a class or a club, volunteer

6. Focus on self –care   When you’re over worked, it easy to neglect physical health and good nutrition

7. Physical exercise 30 mins activity most day calms the nervous system

8. Take a break at stressful time of the day …….leave your desk and go for a walk outside

9. Eat small frequent healthy meals, this can help maintain an even level of sugar, and avoid energy dips, mood swings.

10. Drink alcohol in moderation as it also exacerbates anxiety

11 Get a good night sleep

12 Speak to a professional counsellor, many work places offer employees counselling through an employee assisted programme.

How would someone prevent getting overly stressed about something?

stress busters

Avoid unhealthy habits. Don’t rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping.

Take control of situations before they take control of you. There is always a solution out there if you think positive. The act of taking control is empowering and will build confidence. Try to be positive. Look for the positives in life, and things for which you’re grateful. “People don’t always appreciate what they have. Try writing down three things that went well, or for which you’re grateful, at the end of every day. (Before you fall asleep, it means you end the day on a positive note)

Be active. Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you to deal with your problems more calmly.

Learn how to manage your time more effectively. Build in regular time for yourself – ‘me time’. Build positive relationships with family, friends and work colleagues. In times of stress and anxiety they can release your pressure valve, and give you support and advice. Having a laugh with friends is seen as an excellent stress reliever. We all need to take some time for socialising, relaxation or exercise

Practice some form of meditation, it lowers blood pressure, and calms the minds

Challenge yourself. Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps to build confidence. This will help you deal with stress.

Resist perfectionism … don’t try to set unrealistic goals…just aim to do your best

 Flip negative thinking…. try to think positively about your work avoid negative thinking.

Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Focus on what you can control

Look for humour…..

There is only one you, and so it important to look after yourself. As the saying goes ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’. 

If you need help or advice, our counselors at J&P are here to help get you back to health. Contact us to book an appointment, get advice or to find out more.

0151 345 6823 – Office Number [email protected] – Office email