Tag Archives: stress

At Ease Soldier

Exceeding the demands of duty can inflame stress and increase your risk for burnout. Taking time to relax and regroup is not a luxury-it’s an essential part of a balanced life.It’s a contemporary cliché-the classic tale of the star performer who begins with a bang and ends with a fizzle, all that high energy and enthusiasm simply fading away.

Burnout, the feeling of being emotionally, physically and psychologically depleted, may pose a real risk, particularly to overachieving types with unrealistic goals, or people in the helping professions-medicine, teaching, social services etc.

Imbalance is usually at the heart of burnout. Sufferers typically make unreasonable investments of time, commitment and focus on career to the detriment of their personal lives and development. Problems on the job can exacerbate matters. A lack of autonomy or control, the inability to make decisions, an abusive boss or difficult colleagues, too much work and too many hours spent working or a tedious unvarying routine may all be contributing to the accumulation of harmful stress.

Disillusionment can be a precipitating factor.

There are other influences to consider as well.

“Stressors can be internal, for example, illness, poor diet, lack of sleep, smoking, excessive alcohol, etc. or external and environmental such as overcrowding, weather, noise. Social stressors include unemployment, financial worries, relationship breakdowns. Some stress can be generated by our negative self talk,” says Catherine Madigan, of Melbourne, Australia, a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Burnout can produce a wide array of symptoms, she explains.

Sleep disturbances-difficulty falling and staying asleep and feeling unrefreshed despite hours of rest-are common. Muscle tension is typical and frequently localized to the neck, shoulders and back. Uncharacteristic cynicism and bouts of impatience and irritability can signal burnout. Other symptoms include manifestations of anxiety-sweating, shaking, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, faintness, heart palpitations, chest pain, racing heartbeat and tingling in the extremities.

Feelings of disillusionment and despair, accompanied by a total absence of joy and humor, can contribute to a generalized sense of meaninglessness, the crushing hallmark of burnout.

It’s also not unusual for job performance to decline along with professional and personal relationships as sufferers withdraw emotionally and appear indifferent to family, friends and colleagues.

“If people do not engage in stress management they may find that they end up clinically depressed or developing an anxiety disorder such as panic attacks. They may also end up abusing drugs and alcohol,” comments Madigan.

Treatment requires recognition-it’s important to acknowledge that circumstances have conspired to overwhelm you-and time. You must be willing to acknowledge your complicity in burning out and establish new parameters establishing a proper balance between your work life and your personal life. Self-regulation is paramount.

Take steps to introduce a proper diet, adequate rest and recreation and exercise into your daily life. Turn off your cellphone. Stop compulsively checking email. Take time off. Limit social engagements unconnected to pleasure. Develop interests that will increase your experience of the natural world, which can be highly restorative.

Failure to acknowledge the debilitating effects of burnout may result in physical or mental breakdown, prolonged episodes of depression or even disease.

If You’re Feeling the Heat:

Some recommendations from Catherine Madigan for preventing or treating the symptoms of burnout:

  • Stress management is anti-burnout. Regular aerobic exercise is great for stress relief. Exercise can be as simple as a brisk 30-minute walk. Other options include: cycling, jogging, squash etc.
  • Avoid substances, which can increase anxiety, including caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee and soda.
  • Stop smoking or cut back.
  • Alcohol is a depressant, lowers your “people mood” and can actually increase your feelings of anxiety within hours of having a drink.
  • Experiment with relaxation techniques such as slow breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.

Being fully engaged in all aspects of your life-and that includes time set aside to relax in a lounge chair and read a good book-will significantly reduce your risk of going down in flames.

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Stress Relievers

Stress management is an important practice that most people nowadays need to learn. With a fast paced working environment, people are constantly subjected to tremendous pressure that result in unpleasant levels of stress in their lives. You need to be able to cope quickly with the amount of stress that you have to deal with since it produces several negative effects on your health.Exercise is a great way to releive stress and there are so many options out there that everyone can find an activity that they enjoy doing but will also de-stress the body and mind.

Stress and It’s Effects
First off, stress can cause your performance to drop because of your inability to focus on the tasks at hand. Stress can also affect your health and body. Oftentimes, stress can escalate into depression or anxiety. High blood pressure, poor eating habits and lack of rest caused by high stress can also lead to worse health conditions including heart disease.

Where to Start
If you’re working long hours and stressed about balancing work and family life, it may be difficult to even start an exercise program for stress relief. Start small. Taking 20-30 minutes out of your busy day to take a walk through the park can do wonders for your stress level. Walking for half an hour a day can help kick start your fitness. It’s also a great excuse to spend time with your family. Get everyone together for a walk after dinner or take the kids and the dog to the park for a good run.

Another good starting place is your local fitness center. There are many options at your fitness club from training on the equipment on your own, to working with a personal trainer, to joining a group class. Choose what suits your fitness style and life style best and make sure you do something that you enjoy so your more likely to stick with it. Even if you decide to work out on your own, book a consultation with a fitness trainer so they can show you the proper use of the equipment and help you set your goals.

Group classes may include anything from a relaxtion yoga class to a fast paced step class. Some clubs and fitness centers have started adding Zumba Fitness classes which incorporate latin dance and aerobics moves. Find what interests you and gets you moving.

How Does Exercise Help?
You may be wondering what all this exercise is going to do to benefit your stress levels. There are a number of reasons why physical activities reduce stress. The first is the chemicals released in the brain and body when you exert yourself through physical activity. Exercise can release endorphins and seratonin which boost our mood and make us more happy. Not only that but exercise can help reduce stress through confidence and body image. The more healthy we are and look the more confident we become. Confidence helps us take control of our lives and in turn reduce our stress levels.

Giving yourself 30 minutes to an hour to exercise, play a sport or do a class a couple times a week is also a great way to unwind and destress. Doing something for yourself can help take your mind off the stresses in life. It’s also an opportunity to concentrate on something other than work. Clearing your head of the things that our clogging the brain and causing stress can help you regroup your thoughts.

It may seem that you don’t have time to fit exercise into your busy schedule but there’s always time to do even a short activity to get your body moving and your heart pumping. Exercise is so important for our physical health but it’s also good for our mental health.

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Types of Job Stress and How to Cope

Stress is always a part of work. However, there are a few naturally stressful jobs due to the type of service or the industry to which they belong. Given that you are subjected to these stressors on a daily basis, it is important for you to find means in order to reduce the amount of stress you have to deal with.This will help you achieve a more productive and healthier working environment.

Medical Care Professions

Doctors, nurses, social workers, or medical assistants have an understandably stressful job. The nature of the job in itself is quite difficult, given that the health and well-being of others are put in your hands. Plus, there is an added pressure of their action potentially resulting to negative impacts to one’s health. There is very little room for error in the medical profession which can cause a lot of stress to those in the industry.

One way to deal with stress is to identify its source, in order to determine the proper coping mechanism to employ. This will allow doctors and other medical professionals to learn how to cope with the possibility of committing mistakes while on the job since that is one of the leading causes of reduced performance levels.

Law Enforcement Jobs

As with the medical professionals, there are also a lot weighing on law enforcers. It is, after all, their responsibility to protect the community, maintain peace and order, and employ judicial efforts. That is aside from the personal security risks involved.

You can eliminate or reduce stress in your profession by giving yourself a break in between. This will allow your body and mind to recuperate from the amount of work you’d have to deal with. Since law enforcers typically have a lot of work to deal with, having proper time management and organizational skills will also help you deal with stress.

Teaching Professions

While there are many who enjoy the teaching profession, it does reach a stressful level too. First off, dealing with a wide range of kids can be difficult, let alone being able to successfully teach them. Inner city teachers can also be impacted by the high levels of crime in the area, which can add to the stress. On top of this, teachers are also expected to attain an professional relationship with students as a vital aspect in learning. They are under close scrutiny of the community, which continually expects them to be role models in the society.

Teachers can deal with these stressors by trying these strategies:

  • Be flexible. This will enable you to adjust to the differences in your students’ behavior and opens up more opportunities to build a professional relationship with them.
  • Set realistic goals. When you aim to teach your students something, you need to take it one day at a time. If not, then it will only frustrate you and lead to further stress.
  • Take care of yourself, both physically and mentally.

Jobs Involving Sales

These types of jobs are very stressful because your employment relies on your ability to produce sales. Jobs involving sales therefore require you to meet high levels of standards and often requires you to deal with the public and their demands. Since most of the stress involved in this job is associated with the results, learn how to not focus as much on the results. Instead, use your skills and creativity to build relationships with people. If you build honest relationships the sales will just happen. After all, potential buyers know how to spot hard sellers. If all you can focus on is the sale you lose sight of the importance of creating trust and respect amongst your buyers.

No matter what your job is, whenever you feel stressed out, give yourself a break and do some deep breathing. Another contributor to stress is when you force yourself to speed up the pace. Try to slow down once in a while, especially when most of your deadlines are self-imposed. The less stress you have with the job, the more productive you become. …

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Stress and Your Health

When a person experiences stress, it produces chemical changes in the body that consequently alters some biological processes. For instance, some women who had to deal with stress in their lives suffer abnormalities in their menstrual cycle. Others miss their menstruation, while some suffer from abnormal bleeding. Aside from that, stress could also result to hormonal imbalances that cause symptoms for fibroid tumors and endometriosis to exhibit.

Heart disease is another common illness associated with stress. It intervenes with your cardiovascular condition such that people with stress can suffer from conditions like heart attacks, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and stroke. Other common illnesses suffered by highly stressed individuals include fatigue, emotional disorders, headaches, ulcers, IBS, infections, colds, and lowered immunity system responses.

Taking Care of Your Body

Having known the impact that stress has on one’s body, it is then important to take all th

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Learn to Meditate

What can Meditation Do?

There are many different types of meditation just as there are many different reasons why people choose to meditate. The main purpose of any meditation is to reconnect the mind and the body and clear the brain of negativity. Thoughts, ideas, reminders and lists are constantly entering and clogging the mind. When the mind is full of thoughts it’s very difficult to prioritise your tasks and focus on the now. This constant reworking of thoughts and the wandering of the mind can cause us added stress. Meditation will bring clear focus to the mind and body. It helps to re-collect your mind and your thoughts so you can enjoy the now and not worry so much about what’s coming up. Through meditation we start to listen more to our bodies. This is important especially during times of stress because it is the body that shows the symptoms of stress through illness.

How to Start

You don’t need a designated meditation room. You don’t need alters or even a meditatio

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