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Posts Tagged ‘Stress’

4 Steps to Reducing Worry at Work

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Kent frazzled_medWorrying. It doesn’t feel good, yet at the same time it can seem as if we’re doing something necessary and even right when we worry. It might even seem as if not worrying means we don’t care or won’t take steps to prevent things going wrong. And we might wonder…without that nagging sense of worry, will we become apathetic blobs, sitting on the couch and watching television instead of taking action to remedy the problems in our lives?

Contrary to what many people believe, worry is not a natural state. It doesn’t help us plan, find ways to mitigate risk, or generally stay out of trouble. Quite the contrary: our brains are hard-wired to become less creative and responsive when we feel fearful or threatened – and what’s worry but an experience of threat, anxiety, and low-level fear? (more…)

Stretching Exercises at Your Desk: 12 Simple Tips

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Try these stretching exercises at your desk — or anywhere else — to ease back pain and boost Constant Climb Toward Total Fitness People Walkingenergy.

You may feel awkward doing stretching exercises at your desk. But right now, as you sit there at your computer, you are doing one of the worst things you can do to your body — you’re sitting still. And not only that, but the way you sit — and type, and hold the phone — may be wreaking havoc on your bones, joints, and muscles.

“People who sit at their computers for hours every day — they’re in for serious medical problems,” says Sharon Hame, MD, associate clinical professor at UCLA’s department of orthopedic surgery. “We’re seeing more things than carpal tunnel; those pains go up the arm to the elbow and shoulder and then translate to the neck and back. It’s a huge problem.”

In addition to carpal tunnel and other traditional ergonomic issues, new problems are cropping up, Hame says. “I saw a woman yesterday who had tennis elbow. She got it at work from the way she answered the phone and worked at the computer.” The solution, experts say, is to break up your work by doing stretching exercises at your desk.

Relieve Back Pain With Stretching Exercises at Your Desk
Aches and pains, not to mention the weight gain that can result from hunching over your desk all day, are just the beginning. “People shouldn’t be complacent about moving just because they’re not obese,” says Angela Smith, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and former president of the American College of Sports Medicine. “There are a lot of skinny people who, because they don’t exercise for strength and balance, are osteoporotic fractures waiting to happen.” (more…)

Becoming More Resilient – in 3 Easy Steps

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Becoming More Resilient in the WorkplaceResilience is the ability to be flexible in the face of adversity and apparent setback. Or, to put it in the words of one of our emotional intelligence experts, resilience is “the ability to bounce or spring back into shape after being stretched, bent, or compressed.”

In nature, we see resilience in trees that bend with the wind instead of breaking. In business, we see resilience in the organizations and individuals who adapt as situations evolve.

While some people seem to be born with naturally high levels of resilience, others of us struggle. The good news is that everyone has the capacity to become more resilient. (more…)

The Good News About Stress Management: How “Good” Stress Keeps Us Going & Growing

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Author: Barbara Schiffman, C.Ht.

Every health and lifestyle magazine contains articles claiming stress is bad for us. They list dozens of ways to relieve stress, from exercise to eating healthy foods. A wide range of relaxation techniques have also been proven to help manage stress in our crazy-busy world, especially for people who take care of others and tend to neglect themselves.

But stress is not always as bad as these cautionary articles insist. In fact, some stress is actually necessary to keep us going and growing. (more…)

Fight or Flight: The Evolution of Stress

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

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

Stress Management Training Session Discussion Starters

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Here are some discussion questions to use when facilitating a session on stress management:

1.  When you say “I’m stressed out” or “I’m under a great deal of stress”, what do you mean?  What is the difference between stress and a stressor? (more…)

Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Self-awareness – The First Step

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Emotional self-awareness is the foundational competency of the Emotional Intelligence (EI) model I have worked with for over a decade. This competency provides a solid base upon which to build and enhance Emotional Intelligence competencies including emotional self-management, emotional self-motivation, empathy and nurturing relationships. Yet many of us go through our day unaware and very accepting of the emotional roller coaster daily events evoke. And without recognizing where we are expending our emotional energy, it becomes difficult to progress to developing other EI competencies. (more…)

Get the Best Out of Stress

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

A positive side to stress? Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But think about it. Isn’t some level of stress an important factor in meeting any goal? Don’t most people need that edge of energy that comes with working hard to meet challenges and overcome obstacles?

Stress can, under the right circumstances, be a gift. It can motivate us, and focus our efforts. The people who are most successful in life tend to be those that bounce back quickly from stress and adversity; they learn from their mistakes and move on, rather than feel victimized. However, when we experience too much of it, stress can also be detrimental to our health and to our overall success at work and at home.

The key is to find the right level of stress, and that’s where good leadership comes in. If they want to build their staff’s capability, good leaders don’t try to completely eliminate stress from a project, an assignment or the environment. Effective leaders understand that setting and achieving goals involves stress in some form, and that the stress involved in setting and reaching for goals often draws out the best of people’s talents.

Here are some guidelines that can help managers and coaches “get the best out of stress” for their teams. Remember, though, it’s about finding the right balance between energizing stress and stress that becomes counterproductive and potentially harmful.

1) Make sure you are able to recognize signs of stress and identify their causes.

• How do you typically learn what events, situations and conditions are creating stress for your employees?
• What factors in your department or work group tend to produce the most stress for people? Are these acknowledged and discussed openly?

2) Recognize that each person has a different capacity for dealing with stress — some are better at it than others.

• When coaching employees, are there specific behaviors or areas of skill development you can recommend for those that need to reduce their level of stress, such as improved time management, better planning, being more assertive, etc?

3) Help employees recognize that there are productive forms of stress.

• Do you ever hear stress discussed in positive terms? How can you help employees see that, in many cases, stressful situations and challenges aren’t altogether negative because they serve to make us stronger?
• What methods have you developed for managing your own stress? What past experiences have made you better able to survive new challenges? Have you shared these with your staff?

4) Attempt to raise the stress level up a notch, but only when and where it will be constructive.

• Can you think of situations in your work environment where a bit more pressure might be useful? What are they? What makes you think that raising the stress level just a notch might be useful?
• How can you assess whether or not your employees have sufficient resiliency to thrive on additional stress before adding more pressure to the situation?

When acknowledged and handled well — especially with the proper guidance and coaching — employees will see that stress can build resilience as well as confidence and the ability to deal with challenging circumstances.

Excerpted in part from the Leader’s Guide for the CRM Learning program, Stress is a Gift.

Need help in this area? Stress is a Gift uses a poignant example from nature to illustrate how stressors are essential to any living thing’s ability to survive and grow.


 

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