Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Workplace Stress

Oh, it's not that bad right? You can handle it? I mean it's not like you've never handled anything like this before? Or have you?

The body does not turn off it's stress reflex just because you don't "think" it's a big deal. That's the rub. You have to think about it, not react. Yes, some problem solving calls for quick thinking and fast reactions. But if it is every day then it is going to cause a lot more physiological stress than you think.

The good part about our stress reaction is that it snaps on in an instant and prepares us for some monumental task that is right in front of us. Fight or flight.

The bad part is that it snaps on in an instant. Without thinking. That's where your brain comes in. I won't get into the effects of adrenaline and cortisol here, however you should know that you need to relax on a regular basis to make them work effectively and not cause more stress in the long run.

Whew, looks easy on paper, but when it is right in front of you it takes practice to remain calm and level headed. That is where the real "thinking" needs to take place.

When you recognize you are stressing step back from the moment or situation. Start by taking a deep breath and holding it for five seconds and then exhale for 10 seconds. Your lungs are the only organ that is controlled by the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. That just means you can think about what you want them to do and they will listen, unlike your heart (with apologies to the yogies out there). A nice deep, relaxed breath goes a long way.


In health,

Todd

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