Stress and Coping
Its Monday morning and the alarm clock goes off. The teenagers in the house must wash, brush their teeth, have breakfast and leave for school. They don't want to get out of bed. Dad has a hard day ahead at work. The new manager is a taskmaster and difficult to please. This could interfere with his chances for a raise and even a promotion. Mom is desperate to get the kids out of the house and on the way to school. She also has a career. She's a teacher and has an attendance deadline similar to the kids. She angrily reminds them of this as she feels increasing pressure to start the day. None of it looks this way on the sitcoms on television where everyone is casual, joking and relaxed. This is a real stress.
Stress affects the body
- Relationships, especially the more intimate ones, tend to suffer when the demands of work or life become too much to handle.
- Mood shifts occur when there is chronic stress, especially if it is inescapable, for example in a challenging economic situation.
- Stress can cause changes in behavior such as having sleep problems.
Some Self-Help Techniques:
- Awareness is the first step in knowing what the problem is.
- Drink plenty of water. Symptoms of dehydration can feel like stress.
- Make time: Consciously schedule times throughout the week to work, rest and play.
Causes of Stress
Everyone has different stress triggers. Work stress tops the list, according to surveys. Forty percent of U.S. workers admit to experiencing office stress, and one-quarter say work is the biggest source of stress in their lives.
Causes of work stress include:
- Being unhappy in your job
- Having a heavy workload or too much responsibility
- Working long hours
- Having poor management, unclear expectations of your work, or no say in the decision-making process
- Working under dangerous conditions
- Being insecure about your chance for advancement or risk of termination
- Having to give speeches in front of colleagues
- Facing discrimination or harassment at work, especially if your company isn't supportive
Life stresses can also have a big impact:
- The death of a loved one
- Loss of a job
- Increase in financial obligations
- Getting married
- Moving to a new home
- Chronic illness or injury
- Emotional problems
- Taking care of an elderly or sick family member
- Traumatic events: a natural disaster, theft, rape, or violence against you or a loved one
Finding Relief From Daily Stress:
Research shows that in addition to exercise taking time to walk in a park or forest. There is something calming about tree and nature. It doesn't mean a vacation, although they can work well but they ultimately end. Walking in the park, taking in some nature. Most cities and suburbs have areas designated for just such activity. Even if it means going out and taking that walk during lunch for 15 minutes it helps.
In the end if nothing else helps:
Contact Allan N Schwartz, Ph.D. Email: dra[email protected]
Untreated stress can have a devastating effect on physical and mental health.