Stress Management, Steps to relive anxiety


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Published on September 18, 2012
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In this potentially highly stressful working world high level executives are taking steps to relive anxiety and promote emotional well being, with the idea that doing so will make them more productive and motivated. There are many different methods executives can choose, ranging from taking a stress management programme, to unusual stress relief techniques which are said to have a cathartic affect on employees who are frustrated or anxious.

Executive stress management coaching

Stress management coaching is an attempt to train executives to cope better with their own stress, and to be able to help their employees deal with theirs. Individuals who undergo training are taught how to handle financial stress, balance their home and work life, communicate well and resolve conflict when under pressure.

Coaching comes with an executive price tag and can set bbalances back by up to £1500, which may sound like a hefty price, but if it works respondents may find it worth the effort and cash.

Laughter therapy

Most people know that laughter makes them feel good and can relieve tension. High level executives are using humor to help them manage work related stress and deal with everyday pressure. Laughter reduces the release of stress hormones, and increases feel good ones, resulting in a win/win situation for high flyers who need workable methods of dealing with stress.

Corporate leadership training

High level executives who feel stress due to having the responsibility of many employees can find extra training on how to delegate, organize and communicate well with other people makes them feel more confident and relaxed. Leadership training tends to take place away from the office and home district, so also provides individuals with a change of scene, far from a demanding work life.

 

 

 

 

 

Sport

Executives often discover that taking part in sports, such as squash and hockey, provides them with much needed relief from stress and frustration caused by a heavy workload. Physical exertion can help feel good hormones to circulate, while making individuals feel physically relaxed after venting away negative feelings in the sports arena.

# Pampering

Massage, hot rock treatment, and cranial head massage, are all methods executives use to make them feel better when under pressure. Tight knots and anxiety held within the body can be released, while the pleasantness of gentle surroundings such as a day spa, makes individuals happier.

Retreat

Retreats are safe havens where executives can go to get in touch with their spiritual side and learn self help methods of dealing with stress. Meditation, hypnotherapy, neuro linguistic programming, yoga, tai chi and other forms of stress management can be learned, and skills taken away for use when required.

High level executives use different methods of stress management, depending on individual needs, and often due to company policy and ideas. Stress alleviation may take place within a group activity, when training occurs, or individually in the form of relaxation techniques.


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75% of all illnesses in the UK can be related to stress.


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Published on September 12, 2012
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Do you drag yourself to work every morning? Watch the clock wishing time would go faster? Feel exhausted and drained at the end of the day? Do you find it hard to switch off? Are you always looking forward to the weekend and then suffer Sunday night blues?

If you answered yes to any of these, then you’re not alone: 3 in 4 people working in the UK don’t have a career that makes them happy and wish they could change career. That’s a whopping great 500,000 of us in the UK feeling trapped in jobs we don’t enjoy – no wonder up to 75% of all illnesses in the UK can be related to stress.

While it’s an employer’s responsiblity to create a stress-free work culture and environment, it’s up to each and every one of us to make sure our own career is in good shape and that we have a work-life balance that keeps us happy and healthy.

So, what does a healthy, stress-free career look like?

The key ingredients to a healthy, stress-free career are:

  1. A role that involves your favourite activities
    An average working life is about 40 years. Imagine if at the beginning of your working life someone said to you, “you can spend the next 40 years doing activities that you enjoy and that make you come alive or you can spend the next 40 years doing activities that you find boring, difficult, stressful and exhausting.” People who have stress-free careers are doing daily work that they love, so much so that many will say it doesn’t even feel like work!
  2. Subjects that concern you
    When we work with subjects that we find endlessly fascinating, interesting and enjoyable we are fully engaged in what we do. If we are working with subjects that we have no interest in then we’re not engaged in the work we do and we literally become bored to tears – never underestimate the stress caused by boredom and disinterest.
  3. Playing to your strengths
    When a career is built up on a person’s strengths then work becomes effortless and stress-free. People that work to their strenghts have a sense of achievement, enjoyment, are confident in what they do and tend to perform well.  A person that finds themselves using their weaker skills rather than their strengths in their career will experience work as a constant struggle, will have a sense of failure and subsequently a total loss in confidence in their abilities. It is one of the biggest causes of career stress.
  4. Challenge and Reward
    A healthy career provides just the right amount of challenge – not too much for a person to feel over pressured or stressed out and not too little for them to be bored or restless. Just the right amount of challenge and reward keeps a person feeling engaged, alert and feeling alive.
  5. An environment that you thrive in
    Different people will thrive in different environments – it all comes down to personality, strengths and style. Some people will buzz in a fast-pace, where people are rushing around, while others will prefer working in quiet surroundings, with no distractions and without pressures of deadlines to work to. A healthy work environment for a person is a place where they can be fully themselves, feel alive and energised.
  6. Working style
    Just as different personalities thrive in different environments, so too do different personalities suit different working styles. Some of us need security and stability, others need freedom and flexibility. So, while some people will love being self-employed and being their own boss, others prefer to work as part of a company where they can see a path for promotion.  Some people like structure to their day, others feel stifled by it.  A happy and healthy career is one that offers a work-style that suits the individual and their chosen lifestyle.
  7. Financial security to meet your needs
    A stress-free career provides a person with an income that enables them to fund a lifestyle that makes them happy and healthy and not have to worry about money. Interestingly, many people report that once they have a career that they love, they don’t find the need to spend as much money as they did when they were in stressful careers.
  8. Sense of purpose & pride
    When a person is happy in their career they feel that what they’re doing is worthwhile, that they’re making a positive contribution to the world through their work. With a sense of purpose, comes a sense of pride –  these are the people that are happy to tell you what you do for a living, in fact it will probably be hard to shut them up about it!
  9. Matching of values
    Your values are the qualities that are most important to you in life – the things that make you laugh, cry, feel alive and uplifted – this might be fun, integrity, creativity, justice, community, helping others, variety, exploration etc.
    People who have careers that make them happy have found work that reflects their values causing a deep sense of fulfilment.
  10. Healthy Life-Work Balance
    With a healthy work-life balance, equal importance is given to career, leisure, relaxing, relationships, family& friends. A person with a healthy work-life balance can switch off from their work and completely relax, values their friends and relationship as much as their work and makes sure all aspects of their life are healthy.
    No matter how much you love the work you do, if you don’t have a healthy work-life balance then eventually the stress will catch up with you.

Working out which of these key ingredients is missing from your career at the moment is the first step towards getting your career back in shape and eliminating the stress it’s causing you.

Once you’ve identified where your career stress is coming from, the next step is to find a realistic solution to the problem
Get your career back in shape and find the work that you love.


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How can you tell if there is a stress problem in your company?


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Published on September 12, 2012
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How can you tell if there is a stress problem in your company?

 It’s not always easy to spot the signs of stress…

 From a company point of view, signs of stress include:

 

  • High absenteeism and sickness levels
  • Poor morale amongst staff
  • Customer complaints
  • Long-hours work culture
  • Employees not taking their full holiday entitlement
  • Unhappy work environment
  • Low productivity and efficiency
  • Negative impact on bottom line profits
  • High staff turnover

 

Then again, it’s not always easy to spot stress at work if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Even if you asked all your employees if they were stressed, would they tell you the truth? Remember they might see you as the problem.

 

Nevertheless, one in five people at your company would consider themselves stressed.

If you need help identifying stress in your company, talk to us now. It’s often easier for an outside impartial body to ask questions like this and get responses!


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Published on September 11, 2012
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It’s normal to feel worried, anxious or down when times are hard. Job insecurity, redundancy, debt and financial problems can all cause emotional distress.

There are, however, many things you can do to help yourself if you’re in a difficult situation.

How financial problems can affect your mental wellbeing. Also offers lifestyle tips to help you out of a slump and advice on when to seek medical help.

What are the potential effects of financial problems on mental wellbeing?

When you’ve been made redundant or you’re struggling with debt, feeling low or anxious is a normal response. Losing your job can affect your self-esteem and financial circumstances, which in turn can trigger emotional distress. Fear of redundancy can also lead to worry, which is a very common human emotion.

You may be feeling, behaving or thinking in ways that are unfamiliar. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder.

What are the symptoms of being emotionally distressed?

General symptoms of emotional distress include:

  • Changes in the way you feel physically, such as not being able to sleep well, having trouble concentrating, loss of appetite or feeling tearful.
  • Changes in what you do, such as staying in bed all day and no longer meeting your friends.
  • Changes in the way you think, for example having negative thoughts such as “I’m not worth it,” or “I’ll never get another job”.

How can you help yourself?

  • Being more active means not withdrawing from life. Keep seeing your friends. Keep your CV up-to-date. Don’t ignore the bills and try to keep paying them. If you have more time because you’re not at work, take up some type of exercise. It can improve your mood if you’re feeling low.
  • Facing your fears means not avoiding things you find difficult. For example, if it looks like you’re going into debt, get advice on how to priorities your debts. When people feel anxious, they sometimes avoid talking to others. Some people can lose their confidence about driving or travelling. If this starts to happen, facing up to these situations will generally help them become easier.
  • For some people, alcohol can become a problem. You may drink more than usual as a way of dealing with or hiding your emotions, or just to fill time. But alcohol won’t help you deal with your problems and it could add to your stress..

A routine is important

If you don’t have to go to work in the morning, you can get into a poor sleep routine, lying in bed until late or watching TV all day. Get up at your normal time and stick to your routine.

If you lose your routine, it can also affect your eating. You may stop cooking, you may eat snacks instead of having proper meals, or you may miss breakfast because you’re still in bed.

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When should you seek medical help?

Most people who experience emotional distress will pick themselves up after a few days or weeks and then feel able to tackle challenges such as finding a new job. But for a small number of people, the feelings of anxiety and low mood don’t go away and these feelings interfere with the way they live their life.

If you’re still feeling worried, anxious or low after a few weeks, see your GP. You may find that talking to a professional therapist could help and your GP can advise you on talking therapy services in your area. Don’t just settle for pills. See alternative therapies, read search find what works for you.

Seek help immediately

If you start feeling like you really can’t cope, life is becoming very difficult or your life isn’t worth living, get help straight away. These are dangerous signals that mean you need to talk to someone. As above, either see your GP or contact helplines such as Samaritans (08457 90 90 90) for confidential, non-judgemental emotional support. 

If you’ve already had depression or anxiety, even if they weren’t formally diagnosed, seek help immediately. You’re more likely to have an episode of depression if you’ve had one before.


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15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy and Stress Free


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Published on September 11, 2012
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 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy and Stress Free

 Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right

 There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame

 Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk

 Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs

about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining

 Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism

Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others

Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change

 Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” 
Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels

 Stop labelling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears

Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
 Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses

Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past

I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment

This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.


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Stress Management


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Published on February 23, 2012
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Stress Management

How to Reduce, prevent, and Cope with Stress

It may seem that there’s nothing you can do about your stress level. The bills aren’t going to stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day for all your errands, and your career or family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think. In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of stress management.

Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun – plus the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.

 

Identify the sources of stress in your life

Learn about hidden sources of stress

Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines. But maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that leads to deadline stress.

To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:

  • Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”).
  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.

Start a stress journal

A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. As you keep a daily log, you will begin to see patterns and common themes. Write down:

  • What caused your stress (make a guess if you’re unsure).
  • How you felt, both physically and emotionally.
  • How you acted in response.
  • What you did to make yourself feel better.

Look at how you currently cope with stress

Think about the ways you currently manage and cope with stress in your life. Your stress journal can help you identify them. Are your coping strategies healthy or unhealthy, helpful or unproductive? Unfortunately, many people cope with stress in ways that compound the problem.

Unhealthy ways of coping with stress

These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities
  • Using pills or drugs to relax
  • Sleeping too much
  • Procrastinating
  • Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems
  • Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)

Learning healthier ways to manage stress

If your methods of coping with stress aren’t contributing to your greater emotional and physical health, it’s time to find healthier ones. There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, but they all require change. You can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose, it’s helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.

Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.

Dealing with Stressful Situations: The Four A’s

Change the situation:

  • Avoid the stressor.
  • Alter the stressor.
Change your reaction:

  • Adapt to the stressor.
  • Accept the stressor.

Stress management strategy #1: Avoid unnecessary stress

Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. You may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.

  • Learn how to say “no” – Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, refuse to accept added responsibilities when you’re close to reaching them. Taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.
  • Avoid people who stress you out – If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship entirely.
  • Take control of your environment – If the evening news makes you anxious, turn the TV off. If traffic’s got you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to the market is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online.
  • Avoid hot-button topics – If you get upset over religion or politics, cross them off your conversation list. If you repeatedly argue about the same subject with the same people, stop bringing it up or excuse yourself when it’s the topic of discussion.
  • Pare down your to-do list – Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.

Stress management strategy #2: Alter the situation

If you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Figure out what you can do to change things so the problem doesn’t present itself in the future. Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life.

  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you don’t voice your feelings, resentment will build and the situation will likely remain the same.
  • Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same. If you both are willing to bend at least a little, you’ll have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.
  • Be more assertive. Don’t take a backseat in your own life. Deal with problems head on, doing your best to anticipate and prevent them. If you’ve got an exam to study for and your chatty roommate just got home, say up front that you only have five minutes to talk.
  • Manage your time better. Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused. But if you plan ahead and make sure you don’t overextend yourself, you can alter the amount of stress you’re under.

Stress management strategy #3: Adapt to the stressor

If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.

  • Reframe problems. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.
  • Look at the big picture. Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
  • Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough.”
  • Focus on the positive. When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.

Adjusting Your Attitude

How you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Eliminate words such as “always,” “never,” “should,” and “must.” These are telltale marks of self-defeating thoughts.

Stress management strategy #4: Accept the things you can’t change

Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You can’t prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation you can’t change.

  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control— particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
  • Look for the upside. As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.
  • Share your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist. Expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic, even if there’s nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation.
  • Learn to forgive. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.

Stress management strategy #5: Make time for fun and relaxation

Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by nurturing yourself. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come.

Healthy ways to relax and recharge

  • Go for a walk.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Call a good friend.
  • Sweat out tension with a good workout.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Take a long bath.
  • Light scented candles.
  • Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Work in your garden.
  • Get a massage.
  • Curl up with a good book.
  • Listen to music.
  • Watch a comedy.

Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.

  • Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
  • Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.
  • Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.
  • Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.

Stress management strategy #6: Adopt a healthy lifestyle

You can increase your resistance to stress by strengthening your physical health.

  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week. Nothing beats aerobic exercise for releasing pent-up stress and tension.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary “highs” caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.
  • Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationall.

www.absolutelypositive.co.uk

 


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What is Stress? and the Effects of Stress


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Published on February 9, 2012
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What is Stress?

And the Effects of Stress

 

 

Our Stress Management Training uses the following information

www.absoutleypositive.co.uk

 

The Health and Safety Executive has defined stress as:

 

‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures to the types of demand placed upon them. It arises when they worry that they can’t cope’.

 

Stress is rarely caused by an individual event and may have both work and personal causes.

 

When managing stress we should not be trying to eliminate it completely. We need a certain amount of stress in our lives in order to achieve our goals; we need a little bit of stress to even get out of bed in the mornings.

However, too much stress can led to physical or mental illness and place restrictions on the way we lead our lives.

 

Today, research tells us that 1 in 5 people suffer from stress.

Life itself and the pace of it can be stressful. In some people stress may not be related to specific work or life events but may have developed as an anxiety response to difficult situations.

 

We react to stress in a similar way that we react to fear. We experience fear when we have cause to be concerned about our well-being or safety. We experience stress when we are in situations where we feel under threat but are not actually in any immediate danger. Our heartbeat increases, our muscles tense to fight or flee our hands and feet become colder and we begin to sweat to cool ourselves.

 

This fight or flight syndrome is our instinctive reaction to danger. This response, however, can be set off by many situations, which are not really life threatening or dangerous.

 

Understanding Fight or Flight: The Evolution of Stress

Imagine you are a caveman (person) out innocently picking berries when suddenly you come nose to nose with a sabre-tooth tiger. While you were simply gathering, the tiger was actually hunting, and the sight of you makes his mouth water.

Luckily for you, millions of years of evolution have endowed you with a set of automatic weapons that take over in the event of an emergency. At the sight of the tiger, your hypothalamus sends a message to your adrenal glands and within seconds, you can run faster, hit harder, see better, hear more acutely, think faster, and jump higher than you could only seconds earlier.

Your heart is pumping at two to three times the normal speed, sending nutrient rich blood to the major muscles in your arms and legs. The tiny blood vessels (called capillaries) under the surface of your skin close down (which consequently sends your blood pressure soaring) so you can sustain a surface wound and not bleed to death. Even your eyes dilate so you can see well.

All functions of your body not needed for the struggle about to commence are shut down. Digestion stops, sexual function stops, even your immune system is temporarily turned off. If necessary, excess waste is eliminated to make you light on your feet.
Your suddenly supercharged body is designed to help level the odds between you and your attacker. Consequently, you narrowly escape death by leaping higher and running faster than you ever could before. With the danger now over, you find a safe place to lie down and rest your exhausted body.

FLASH FORWARD to the present day. Despite the huge amount of technological change in the ensuing 25,000 years, you are walking around with essentially the same set of internal body parts as that of the caveman. At this very moment you’re in the break room at work, hunting for coffee. Your boss is out hunting too. But guess what? He’s hunting for you.
As you gulp down your third cup of coffee you hear your boss say those dreaded words: “Could I see you for a moment in my office, please?” At the sight of the tiger, er, uh…your boss…your hypothalamus sends a message to your adrenal glands and within seconds your body summons all the same powers that your stone-age ancestor needed to fight a sabre tooth tiger.

You can almost feel your blood pressure soar as you take the long walk down the hall to your boss’s office. You remember a rumour you heard about an upcoming round of redundancies. Now your mind is racing, your heart is pumping, your blood pressure is soaring, your mouth dries up, your hands feel cold and clammy, your forehead is perspiring and you may even feel a sudden urge to go (to the loo). As you imagine your boss firing you, the caveman (person) inside of you wants to come out. Maybe you’d like to run and hide or maybe you’d like to punch your boss in the nose, but you can’t do either. Welcome to the modern era.

Our bodies are reacting as if our lives are actually threatened and this reaction to threat is a powerful one.

When there is no enemy to run from or fight with, the physical feelings created have no release, and so we begin to build up stress.

This stress will eventually find an outlet in chronic fatigue, anxiety and a variety of minor physical illnesses.

 

So, stress itself is not an illness but it can lead to ill health, if it is prolonged or intense.

 

The Effects of Stress

 

Stress affects us in many different ways.

 

Some people develop stress related illnesses, such as asthma, hypertension, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome etc.

 

Some suffer from free-floating anxiety, panic attacks, muscular tension and hyperventilation.

 

Symptoms of stress whilst not dangerous can be uncomfortable. They can also be frightening particularly if someone does not realise they are suffering. When it becomes severe and goes on for a long time it can stop people doing what they want to do.

 

Sometimes it is possible to be suffering form stress and not even know it, particularly if people don’t think of themselves as a stressed person. People often mistake symptoms of stress for a physical illness.

It is really important to recognise whether stress is a problem for you.

 

Stress can affect us in at least four different ways:

 

  1. the way we feel
  2. the way our body works
  3. the way we think
  4. the way we behave

 

In order to check out whether you may be suffering from stress, place a tick next to those symptoms you experience regularly:

 

How you feel

 

       anxious, nervous, worried, frightened

       feeling something dreadful is going to happen

       tense, stressed, uptight, on edge, unsettled

       unreal, strange, woozy , detached

       panicky

 

How you think

 

       constant worrying

       can’t concentrate

       thoughts racing

       mind jumping from one thing to another

       imagining the worst and dwelling on it

 

Common Thoughts:

 

       I’m losing control

       I’m cracking up

       I’m going to faint

       My legs are going to collapse

       I’m going to have a heart attack

       I’m going to make a fool of myself

       I cant cope

       I’ve got to get out

 

What happens to your body?

 

       Heart pounds, races, skips a beat

       Chest feels tight or painful

       Tingling or numbness in toes and fingers

       Stomach churning

       Having to go to the toilet

       Feeling jumpy and restless

       Tense muscles

       Body aching

       Sweating

       Breathing changes

       Dizzy , light headed

 

What you do:

       Pace up and down

       Start jobs and not finish them

       Can’t sit and relax

       On the go all of the time

       Talk quickly or more than usual

       Snappy and irritable behaviour

       Drinking more

       Smoking more

       Eat more (or less)

       Avoid feared situations

 

If you regularly experience some or all of these symptoms, then it is likely you are suffering from stress

 

So Stress Management Training from Absolutely Positive Training is what you need www.absolutelypositive.co.uk

 


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Stress Management UK


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Published on January 25, 2012
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Stress Management Training

www.absolutelypositive.co.uk

“Nothing will improve your company’s efficiency and profitability more than taking care of your employees and reducing their stress load”.     

  

Government statistics for 2009/2010 list stress as one of the most commonly reported work related illnesses: approximately 435,000 cases.      

One of your legal duties as a manager, is to understand what stress is all about and what can be done, both to prevent it and to manage it.   

Absolutely Positive provides high quality consultancy and training programmes that  can help to minimise the risk and effects of stress.

Stress is a business issue. It impacts on health and productivity. Business issues include   

  • Sickness absence
  • Mistakes and bad decisions
  • Aggression and bad communication
  • Reduced performance and productivity
  • Lack of creativity as people are in survival or safety mode
  • 10.5 million lost working days per year in Britain
  • £780 = the average total cost to a business of absence per employee per year.

    Solve your Problems   

  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce absenteeism, presenteeism and related costs
  • Address work related issues
  • Attract and retain talented people
  • Manage risk by duty of care
  • Successfully implement change
  • Understand and comply with health and safety legislation
  • Reduce legal claims from stressed employees
  • Demonstrate a moral responsibility to employees

 Stress in the workplace not only damages a business’s performance it also creates a legal duty to be treated like any other health hazard. Employers have a clear responsibility to ensure that risks from stress in the workplace are minimised.      

  This is not long, boring, paper and pen goal setting stuff to do when you get back to the office over a long period . This is standing, doing,  participating fun training, that will instantly change the way you feel, think and behave.       

We provide tools and techniques that can contribute to creating a healthy workplace that enables employers, employees and individuals to work more effectively, respond positively to challenges and perform at their optimum.      

 

How do we do it?

Through a multi-disciplinary approach to stress management and prevention. (NLP, CBT, Psychology, Holistic, Diet exercise) programmes that can make a positive contribution to both personal and organisational health and well being.     

Absolutely Positive Stress Management course will empower delegates to have a full perception of: 

  • What is stress? Fight or flight response
  • How to spot the signs of stress and the effects of stress
  • What will stress do if not managed?
  • Long term implications of stress
  • Where is stress coming from?
  • Looking on the bright side of life
  • Gaining perspective
  • 7-11 breathing
  • Physical release and exercise
  • Managing difficult situations
  • Managing conflict
  • Dealing with bullying or harassment
  • Self-care
  • Creating a supportive culture
  • Physical environment
  • Support and network groups
  • Lifestyle and work-life balance
  • Technology and how to survive it
  • Managing panic attacks
  • Knowing when to refer people on
  • Managing change and uncertainty
  • Meditation and relaxation
  • Other relaxation techniques
  • Self hypnosis and visualization
  • NLP Stress Management
  • CBT Stress Management
  • Communicating with self and others
  • Time Management 

Our training and development programmes include:- 

  • Full day workshops
  • Two day workshops
  • Half day workshops
  • 1 hour Breakfast Meetings
  • 1 2 1 Coaching and Mentoring Programmes
  • Team Building and Development Events
  • Management Training
  • Train the Trainer
  • Stress Risk Assessment
  • Health & Safety Executive Stress Management Standards
  • Royal Society for Public Health Awareness Levels 1 and 2
  • Stress Management & Wellbeing workshop x 6 one hour per week.

More for Stress Management                   Free Stress Test 

   

Stress Management Techniques               Stress Management

The Health and Safety Executive has produced some useful guidance to assist employers prioritise stress control measures focussing on prevention. These can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/stress/index.htm


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Stress Management in the UK


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Published on November 26, 2011
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Stress Management
HOW TO REDUCE, PREVENT, AND COPE WITH STRESS

It may seem that there’s nothing you can do about your stress level. The bills aren’t going to stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day for all your errands, and your career or family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think. In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of stress management.


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We love Kurt Lewin Model of Change Management


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Published on October 5, 2011
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According to the UK government’s Office of Government Commerce (OGC), the need for effective management of change has never been more evident.

  In these trying time we know the important of the skilled management of Change

 Check us out www.absolutelypositive.co.uk

The Kurt Lewin change model

Kurt Lewin describes three states that organisations go through:

 The cycle through each change state can be quite rapid.

  • In modern businesses and organisations, the ‘refreeze’ state can be transitory and brief, as the quest for improvement drives onwards.

Unfreeze

Quite simply – something needs to change. Due to an external or internal driver (or drivers), the business or organisation needs to restructure, reorganise, reengineer its processes, change or develop new technology solutions. This could be in response to a change in the business, financial, management, operational, people or technology environment (for example, increased competition or a commercial threat, or an acquisition or merger). In the ‘unfreeze’ state, you should seek to ‘unlock’ the present way of doing things or ‘status quo’, establish a new vision for the business, establish the change requirements and approach for implementing the changes.

Move

In this state, you are planning and executing the required changes, managing implementation of all change products and ensuring delivery of the required benefits.

Refreeze

In this state, the changes are fully implemented and consolidated and become the ‘steady state’ management and operation of the business or organisation – at least until the next big ‘unfreeze’ takes place!


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