Stop Stress Related Bankruptcy

300 Billion Dollars a Year!

According to the American Psychological Association that is what stress is costing businesses in the USA
Be it loss of productivity, absenteeism, turnover or increased medical costs, stress is clearly expensive to organizations.

What’s more, stress is costly to individuals. This same study by the APA shows that 80% of Americans currently cite money and the state of the economy as their top two sources of stress.

If you want to stop stress from bankrupting you, read on. This article is dedicated to helping individuals more effectively manage stress at home and in the workplace.

Stress Sucks!

It literally sucks the energy, motivation and spirit from us. The personal effect of all this stress cause physical symptoms that include: headache, backache, tight neck and shoulders, high blood pressure and ulcers, and emotional symptoms like sadness, anxiety, depression, anger and irritability. You can find yourself getting irritated and upset over the smallest incident or innocuous comment.

Are you a stress breeder?
Stress is contagious and can impact everyone around us. Stress can impede the ability to focus on the job and cause us to take longer to finish projects or meet deadlines. Stress creates tension in relationships and interferes with communication and mutual support. Just when your friends and co-workers need to support each other the most, you get too stressed to talk.

One Person’s Stress is Another Person’s Relaxation

People react to events, other people and situations in different ways. What may be stressful to one person may not bother another and what makes one person feel relaxed and in control may not work for someone else. Just telling someone to relax and insisting they enjoy what you do can be more stressful. If your friends go white water rafting for relaxation and you don’t know how to swim, don’t accept that invitation. At the same time be ready and willing to try new ways to enjoy yourself.

Stress on Steroids
If you are a leader or executive in your organization you not only have your own stress, but you also have to make decisions that impact your employees. That can keep you up all night and obsess all day. When you learn to manage your own stress, you help create a less stressful environment for your employees.

Don’t Just Stress Out, Do Something and Sometimes Do Nothing!

Here are some ways to reduce your stress level and not be a stressor to other people.

• Realize that you are not alone in feeling extra stressed these days.
• Become aware of the times you feel stressed out and identify your emotional and physical reactions. Are there specific instances when your back starts to tense up or your head starts aching? Look for general patterns.
• In your interactions with employees and others, are you raising your voice, getting impatient and being overly critical? Observe how your employees react to you. Do they avoid you or stay silent when you ask for input? Ask people you trust for any feedback regarding your behavior. Don’t get defensive. Just listen.
• You’ve probably heard this a million times, but learn and practice deep breathing exercises. This will help you stay calm and focused and make the right decisions. You’ll also prevent or interrupt your stress reactions, like neck aches and teeth clenching. The ability to use deep breathing techniques will make you a better listener, and be seen as a leader.
• Think of the value you bring to your business and the value the business brings to your customers. In a stressful economy many business leaders tend to forget about the value of their services, start thinking of what they offer as a commodity rather than a brand and spend too much energy worrying about their competition. Concentrating on your brand and what you have to offer will make you feel better about your business and think of new ways to present your value.
• When you get anxious about the future instead of planning for the future, bring your thoughts back to the present and what you know right now. This will give you more of a sense of control and make it easier to think strategically and reduce the stress of the unknown.
• Find an activity that you love doing or that you loved doing before you felt so stressed and take time to do more of it.
• Eliminate stressful people (energy vampires) from your life. They waste a lot of your time when you’re with them and thinking about how stressed out you are after they leave.
• Use caller ID and don’t answer when they call. If you have to talk with them use a timer and let them know you have an appointment in three minutes. Extricate yourself when the time is up.
• Take time to exercise. Think of exercise as a stress cleanser. You’ll feel less plugged in to everyone else’s stress as well as your own. The more relaxed and calm you are, the better you’ll feel, and sleep. Not only will you enjoy spending time with them but also they will enjoy spending time with you.

Simma Lieberman “The Inclusionist,” helps individuals and organizations create inclusive cultures where people can do their best work and increase productive and profit.

Contact Simma Lieberman Associates to find out how we can help you and your organization be more productive and profitable during these stressful times. E-mail or call 510-527-0700. Visit our website

Simma Lieberman

Author Simma Lieberman

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