The answers you are seeking are unlikely to be in the bottom of a bottle.
Causes of pressure and stress
There are many causes of any lingering pressure and stress that effects out thoughts, our overall health and our behaviour? The very nature of business can produce excessive stress that id unmanaged can lead to burnout:
- Pressure to meet cash flow.
- The pressure of meeting budgets.
- The pressure of new situations.
- The pressure of constant change.
- Pressure to make an impact.
- The pressure in bringing a team together.
- The pressure of information overload.
- Pressure to get a new product on the market.
- Pressure from the excitement
- Social media.
- The pressure of new technology.
- Pressure from new ideas.
- The pressure of excessive competition.
- Not liking the work or your job.
- Pressure caused by the loss of a key employee.
- Pressure to make decisions.
- Pressure to learn.
- Writing content.
- Pressure to meet deadlines.
You must reduce your worry levels and learn to unwind. Learn to be calmer in difficult situations. The trick is to succeed slowly and get more done with less stress. “I can’t stop”, you say. “I have to keep going”. But take a look at what it’s costing you and your family you may have to admit that the price is too high.
You have to “think” your way to rest and reducing life’s pressures. If you lived at a slower pace, at the pace your grandparents lived, you would not have to think about rest. It would be part of your everyday life. I can remember my father taking a “catnap” for 20 minutes after lunch almost every day unless we had visitors.
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another”. William James
If you are living the ‘good life’ with very heavy social commitments and pushing the pace, you don’t have the luxury of just letting things happen. If you are in the business of making things happen, take the time to slow down and rest, your body simply cannot work on full throttle all the time.
Start to work smarter, not harder. Ask a successful person what it takes to succeed and the chances are they will come down to one thing, hard work never killed anybody.
You could easily assume that hard work meant fast and burning the midnight oil. But when you question successful people more closely then it’s likely they would admit that a big part of their hard work is keeping a cool, calm head whenever there is pressure. Working harder means working smarter, not working faster.
The starting point for working smarter is being able to find the cool, calm state of mind that lets you see what’s important, in order that you can act decisively. This can be very difficult when you have to meet a deadline or you are overwhelmed with information.
Don’t just attack everything like a bull at a gate. When everyone around wants more from you and wants it now, it’s not easy to stay calm. When your mind runs ahead, thinking out possibilities, turning problems over, it’s not easy to rein it in, slow it down, and stop it over revving out of control.
This over activity has its cost, more mistakes, loss of concentration, irrational anger, loss of sleep, tension headaches. They are all the warning or danger signs that let you know when you are being overloaded.
Stop, slow down, and pull out of the mindless rush. Touch down at home base, and get your bearings again. Learn to slow down and rest fast, recover fast and move forward fast while becoming in touch with your feelings.
Harvard cardiologist Herbert Benson (“The Relaxation Response”) gives us a good set of rules to achieve a state of rest at any time:
- Sit comfortably somewhere quite
- Each time you breathe out, say the word “one”
- Don’t try to relax
- Do this for twenty minutes.
Your body will slowly get the message that there is no threat, nothing to get hyped up about and it starts to rest. Pulse rate drops, blood pressure drops, metabolism and breathing slow down, The left and right hemispheres of the brain move towards more symmetrical and slower patterns of activity are created. A feeling of calm, ease and confidence develops as a consequence.
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If you are under stress then you will definitely be impacting others you work with. They too will be experiencing an increase in pressure and face the potential risk of developing serious levels of stress.
Look for the symptoms, the telltale warning signs of pressure and stress and take immediate action to rectify the situation.
- Absenteeism is on the rise.
- Growing levels of illness.
- Worrying about burnout and over work.
- People complaining about the working environment.
- The organisation has no direction.
- Low morale.
- Productivity is declining for no apparent reason.
- Levels of enthusiasm are slipping, motivation is low.
- The environment is too disorganised.
- Technology is too complex or always breaking down.
- Noise and temperature is a problem.
- Relentless change that is creating uncertainty and fears?
- Increasing workloads and growing demands.
- Too many difficult customers with too many complaints.