Tag Archives: stress reduction

Life style

“Relaxation is… a state between waking and sleeping, where the body is completely still and the mind is allowed to flow freely from one thought to another, or alternately, a state in which the mind becomes inadvertently calm.”
― Gudjon Bergmann

SONY DSC

Green River, Utah

When was the last time you took a sustained break from your daily routines? When did you take time to relax and step back from the normal pattern of life?

With employee engagement hovering around 37% companies are losing a majority of their productivity to time wasting events. People are stressed and stress doesn’t necessarily improve output. Vacations are being taken by fewer people as the feeling is that vacations only serve to increase the amount of stress in their lives rather than reducing stress.

What are you doing to restore engagement in work and life?

What is your level of stress? How are you dealing with it?

Stress reduction can begin with:
1. Breathing and relaxation
2. Practicing gratitude – journaling what you are grateful for.
3. Being mindful – paying attention to the day and not letting it just go by.
4. Disconnecting from TV, computer and electronic devices.
5. Taking a real vacation.

Stress is often related to a lifestyle that is demanding more from you than you can provide.  Sustained stress leads to burnout and less satisfaction with life.  Choose to change your lifestyle so that you can experience greater happiness.

be a peak performer

“The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can’t do.”   Dennis Waitley

In the last blog post I talked about performance zones and looked at the definitions of the two lower zones, the excuse zone and the victim zone.  These zones are where many people spend most of their waking hours.   So many people are finding that life is nothing great and living like life is just a great big pain.   I’ll bet you know some people who are just existing and not enjoying life.  Is that right?   What are they saying and what are they doing?

Isn’t it tiring to listen to someone who is always telling you the reasons why they just couldn’t get it done (whatever that is)?    They always have a story of why they couldn’t and they certainly “would” have if ….

Notice the language that people use.   Is it filled with “Only if” or “If I …” or “I wish …”.   That isn’t the language of high performance that is the language of victim level performance.    Victim level performance takes energy away from others rather than elevating the energy.

What are the attributes of a performer or a high performer and how do you know you’ve met one?   One of the attributes is “energy”.  What kind of energy are they producing?   Performer’s generate energy and give it away and it becomes this infectious smile or attitude that radiates outward.

High performer’s exude energy and charge up others.   Even their bad days are only moments in time rather than most of the time.    High performers have bad days and they know that bad days aren’t the rule.   Low performers think that good days are unusual rather than the rare occasion.

The big difference between a top performer and low performer is the direction the energy flows.   It is a choice that each person makes on what direction their energy flows.   If it flows inward you’re not living your full potential.  If  your energy is flowing outward then you are giving your life meaning.

How do you create high performance?

1. Reduce stress in your life.

2. Increase personal learning

3. Feed  yourself positive material  (turn off the TV, the radio, the email, …)

4. Serve others … give your time.

5. Be clear on your mission/purpose in life.

6. Being intentional about creating high performance.

7. Develop your mental view of yourself – your personal psychology.

8. Being present … being in the moment (not the past or the future).

Eight steps to reach greater performance and all it takes is putting those ideas into practice.   Do you believe that living in performance or high performance is living a better life than living a life of excuses?   If you said, “Yes”, then what is stopping you from being the high performer that you can be?

“It’s not the mountain we conquer-but ourselves.”
Sir Edmund Hillary

STRESSED … out!

“Feel like I’m riding on a chartered plane of broken hearted pain. Turbulence is constant my pilot has gone insane.”   J. Cole

Turbulence!

Events of life that pull us  in one direction and then in another.  Sometimes you’re under the water frantically fighting to reach the surface.   Gasping for air you take in a deep breath and feeling lucky to have that breath.   The heart is beating wildly as a surge of adrenoline courses through the arteries as you feel relief and fear at the same time.   In those moments of great stress the body responds and responds quickly.   There is very little if any thought on what needs to take place in the moment only that something has to take place so that you can get air in the lungs again.  

Stress in moments of real danger is built into the fight or flight response that everyone experiences at some point in their life.   The body naturally takes over when there is no time to “think” about what should happen.   Right or wrong the brain does what ever it can to stay alive.  

That  kind of overwhelming stress is important in those life or death situations.   In every day life that feeling of stress does not serve you.   Stress and the associated hormones rob you of  the life you desire.   Stress creates tension, poor eating habits,  lack of sleep, and an unhealthly lifestyle.   Just look around you and look at the people you say moving through life.   What do you see?   Do you see people who are not getting enough sleep?   Do you see people who have eating disorders and who have unhealthy lifestyles?   What part of those life styles are due to the stress of life?

Over the years things happen and they created a sense of stress.  Left unresolved those stresses are carried around with you every day.   Those stresses form a stress baseline from which you operate.  You can add to the baseline stresses (habit stresses perhaps) and overtime that baseline stress goes up.   More stress but not enough stress that is causes a lot of problems.   Maybe there are just a few more headaches than there were before and maybe there are some unexplained pains.   Perhaps there are some tighter than normal muscles but nothing that can’t be dealt with.   The pain isn’t chronic it just shows up once in a while.  

Then comes the visit by someone and you desire to please them by inviting them to your home.   This disrupts your daily patterns and adds some stress knowing that you have entertain this guest, feed them and do things that are outside of your normal daily routines.   A couple of days and it isn’t too bad.   A few hours less of sleep, the normal exercise program is put on hold and there is just a bit more extra eating and celebrating.    A few more days pass by and the guest entertainment activities are cutting into other things you really enjoy to do.  You’re losing more sleep and you’re less energetic than you were before.   Now, work is becoming a bit more challenging with less sleep and the engagement level is declining.   A rush order comes in and you’re the person that is called to handle it.   Less sleep, more work, and  at a time  you feel you should be entertaining your guest.   The pressure to get the work done is annoying, the work is more difficult and you feel tension building up.   You want to get home and you’re working later.   You make a few mistakes and correct them … time is going by and you’re falling behind.   The muscles tighten up, the stomach gets upset and you’re uttering words that aren’t a normal part of your vocabulary.   You’re experiencing stress.   Now you’re a bit angry … tired and hungry as well.     You finally get out of work …

As you rush out of the building to the car you take a glance at your watch and see that you’re just about two hours later than usual.   The burning sensation in the stomach grows just a little bit and you race out of the parking lot.   One red light, another one and another one.   You’re tired of waiting … and you make some quick moves in and out of traffic maybe exceeding the speed limit a bit.    A quick glance in the rear view mirror and you notice some bright lights flashing.   As a well trained driver you pull over to the side of the road to let the police car pass and it follows you to the side of the road.   Great … more stress.    Add to that moving violation that fact that the insurance has lapsed and is out of date … more stress.

It doesn’t take much to create a scenario where stress starts to compound and it brings you above your threshold that you can bear.   All it will take is one word from anyone and a fusillade of unfriendly speech will cascade into their face.  

Now the stress has exceeded the normal threshold and in a sustained state starts to bring about more severe stress complications producing  sadness, grief, increased anger or  withdrawal.  

Where is your stress level?   How are you dealing with your stress?

stressed out … are you?

Stress is growing.  It is a growing concern.   The wave of turbulence that is sweeping across the globe is impacting everyone.  Jobs are scarcer, fear is increasing, home foreclosures are rising, costs are increasing and people are having trouble coping with impacts of our increasingly connected global world.

Here are a few quick facts about stress:

Workplace stress continues to grow. In the U.S., experts at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are dedicated to studying stress. They’ve found:

  • Stress is linked to physical and mental health, as well as decreased willingness to take on new and creative endeavors.
  • Job burnout experienced by 25% to 40% of U.S. workers is blamed on stress.
  • More than ever before, employee stress is being recognized as a major drain on corporate productivity and competitiveness.
  • Depression, only one type of stress reaction, is predicted to be the leading occupational disease of the 21st century, responsible for more days lost than any other single factor.
  • $300 billion, or $7,500 per employee, is spent annually in the U.S. on stress-related compensation claims, reduced productivity, absenteeism, health insurance costs, direct medical expenses (nearly 50% higher for workers who report stress), and employee turnover.

As reported by http://www.stressdirections.com/personal/about_stress/stress_statistics.html

  • Stress and anxiety is estimated to affect well over 19 million Americans and growing.
  • 33% of Americans suffer job burn out and is thought to be due to stress at the work place.
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in giving their stress statistics is predicting depression (which is one the many effects of stress) to be a leading cause of absenteeism from the work place.
  • About 70% of workers are unhappy in their current employment due to work related stress.
  • Accidents in the work place that are directly related to stress are exponentially increasing every year.
  • Over $290 Billion dollars is spent in the US economy every year relating to compensation claims from on-the-job stress, health insurance, low-productivity and disability.

As reported by http://ezinearticles.com/?Stress-Statistics—Will-You-Be-Another-Stress-Statistic?&id=2049516

Stress is a poison that affects a large number of people.  Perhaps it is working a job that doesn’t utilize your gifts and talents.  Perhaps it is working in a culture that is filled with toxins of bad relationships.  Perhaps it is working for someone who doesn’t recognize or use your talents.   Too much stress reduces the ability to function with a high level of contribution.

How much stress are you experiencing in your work environment, home environment, social environment or your physical environment?   Is it taking the joy out of your life?

What are you doing about the stress in your life?

–          Ignoring it

–          Worrying about it

–          Fighting it

–          Working on reducing it

–          Getting help (coaching, mentoring)

–          Getting angry at others

There are negative ways to reduce stress and there are positive mechanisms to reduce stress.

Positive stress reducers

  1. Daily exercise
  2. Take time to reflect, journal
  3. Good eating habits
  4. Actively working with someone to reduce stress
  5. Power breaks – short intense periods of relaxation and refocus (on positive )
  6. Developing an attitude of gratitude.

What are you doing to reduce stress in your life?