Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Coping With Job Stress

Generally, job stress is referred to as the challenges in the workplace; however the concept of work related stress is entirely different from challenges. A challenge motivates an employee to learn and master new skills, whereas job stress depletes the energy as well as the enthusiasm to work. There are a number of symptoms that indicate job stress such as lack of proper sleep, loss of concentration, anxiety, depression and physical illness.

Causes of job stress: There are a number of reasons for job stress. Poor working conditions, work pressure and demands of the employers are some of the major reasons leading to employee dissatisfaction and non-attachment to the workplace, resulting in job stress. Some of the main causes are discussed below.

Job Insecurity: Job insecurity is one of the main causes of stress among employees. Cost cutting techniques employed by several organizations because of mergers, takeovers, downsizing and other changes, often leads to tension and frustration among workers.

Increase In Demand For Performance: High demands on performance and impractical expectations have become one of the main contributing factors to work related stress. Long working hours and severe pressure to perform well, excessive travel and being away from the family because of work has left employees drained both physically and emotionally.

Work Culture: Adapting to a working culture is very important and requires the ability to adjust quickly to a new environment. It involves adapting to communication patterns and dress code as well as the behavioral patterns of the employer and the co-worker. Maladjustment to the working conditions could lead to silent or violent conflicts with colleagues or bosses. It is often observed that office politics and gossip have also led to job stress.

Technological Advancements: Due to the latest technological advancements in computers, pagers and mobile phones have increased employer's expectations for productivity, efficiency and speed, thereby leading to increased level of job stress.

Ways To Cope With Job Related Stress

The popular proverb "where there is a will, there is a way" fits well here. Every problem comes with a solution, but one needs to work towards implementing it. Coping with job related stress is the responsibility of both the employer as well as the employee. The following tips will help you cope with job related stress:

Do Not Pressure Yourself: It is important to keep your cool whenever you face pressure at work. As an employee, you need to remember that you can work better with calm and patience. There may be intense pressure from your employer, but you need not let it hamper your mental stability in away that your efficiency is damaged.

Talk to HR: Many organizations hire Human Resources or HR executives who function as a link between the employer and employee. You can approach them and talk about the stresses you face.

It is essential to deal with job stress so that it does not take a physical or emotional toll on you. Taking up a hobby or working out goes a long way toward relieving job stress.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online ( ) offers online six
sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Reviewing Stress Relief Techniques That Should Not Be Abused

Many of us would like to deal with the stress in our lives like the main character in the movie Office Space. It would be awesome to just decide not stop going to work unless you felt like it, stop paying your bills, and say and do whatever you felt like.

Unfortunately, as the main character in this movie discovered, and you will as well if you follow in his footsteps, reality will only let you get by with this for so long. However, for a short while he was completely stress-free, but his irresponsibility caught up with him and put him under much more stress than he started with. Here are a few stress relief techniques that become counter-effective if used on a regular basis.

One strategy that can be overused for stress relief is drinking. A few drinks can be relaxing, and several can be even more so. It also can also be helpful for venting and getting some things off your chest, but getting too drunk, sick, or hung over, especially on a regular basis, bring up another set of problems.

After getting sick or being too rambunctious, depending on who your friends are, you may find that you are not as popular as you once were. This can be even more problematic if you confront the cause of your stress while drinking.

While you may be right in what you say or do, slurring and stumbling generally take away from your credibility and leave you looking like a drunken idiot, which may be the case. If you use consistently use drinking as a stress relief, you may run into additional problems with your work situation and personal relationships.

Speaking your mind can also release some tension, but left unchecked it will cost you eventually, especially if you have a small stature. It would be great to tell a few of your coworkers, neighbors, and relatives exactly what you think of them, but depending on how correct you are, there is no tell how they may react.

Needless to say, you will probably feel much better, and they will feel much worse, unless they have a few strong opinions about you as well. This can make things awkward for everyone involved, and, in some cases, leave you stressing about your safety or job security.

A night on the town gambling can be fun, but doing it too often or not knowing when to stop, take your losses, and go home, can bring some serious consequences. Gambling's attraction has to do with the hope of winning and the thrill of trying, mingled with the psychological pull of unexpected rewards.

Winning some times but never being guaranteed a win is what grips people tight, and many people have lost everything they own before even realizing that they have nothing left to gamble with.

These types of stress relief have to be used in moderation and never try to combine them all together into a loud-mouthed, drinking night at the casino. Sometimes it might feel good to let go from time to time, but once you start hitting a pattern with these forms of relieving tension, you're going to cause yourself more problems for yourself than you started out with.

Mike Selvon's portal at will expand your knowledge about stress relief. Visit us and leave a comment at our blog at where a free gift awaits you.

Friday, November 23, 2007

How Stress Affects your Health

In our high-powered world of technology we find our lives going at such a rapid pace that things seem to be spinning out of control. This and normal everyday problems with family and money contribute to a build up of stress. This is one of the main reasons that we do not enjoy the good health we deserve.

Sometimes we are not even aware of the problem until a crisis occurs in our lives, by that time considerable damage can have occurred and it is difficult to turn our lives around onto the right path.

Signs of stress: Your body has ways of showing stress and it is important to be aware of them:

* First you may be experiencing tension in your muscles, especially your neck and back
* Fidgeting, you need to hold something with your hands (cigarettes, twirling pencils etc)
* You just have difficulty in relaxing
* Depression.

We have all experienced aches and pains and are not sure why. This is often one of the first signs of stress affecting your body. Fidgeting and restlessness are very common in people with tension and stress. Depression is a common disorder that if left unchecked can lead to serious mental illness. It is very important to catch these initial symptoms of stress as early as possible, before they develop into more serious problems.

Your body's reaction to stress:

* High blood pressure
* Lack of concentration
* Irregular breathing
* Strain on your heart

All these reactions to stress can turn into life threatening problems. High blood pressure is a well-known precursor of more serious problems like strokes and aneurisms. Lack of concentration can cause problems while driving or operating industrial machinery. Irregular breathing can develop into Asthma. Any strain on your heart is bad and can lead to serious consequences and even death.

Here are some pointers to cut down stress:

* Organize your time
* Spend some time away from all your worries and cares-find time to relax
* Stop worrying- it will not help you solve the problem
* Be aware that you have stress problems
* Try to eat well and sleep well
* Try to train yourself to be positive

When you organize your time you will find it easier to get things done. Prioritize your tasks and do them one at a time. You will get them done more quickly and easily this way. Take some time out for yourself and try to relax. Try some meditation -this is a good stress reliever. Do something that you like to do. Once you are aware that you are stressing out you can find out the main factors that are causing it and try to solve or alleviate the problems. Look after yourself and try to eat well, sleep well and above all be positive

Some nutritional supplements can help your stressed-out body heal itself. Supplements that supply your body with essential Glyconutrients can help when you are stressed. Why? Because glyconutrients become depleted when your body gets stressed out. When you have less of these vital nutrients your immune system becomes weakened and you are more susceptible to infections and diseases. Taking glyconutrients can help your body reverse these damaging effects caused by stress and enable you to live a healthier happier life.

Zach Thompson is a Glyconutrients Representative. His clients range from actresses to pro athletes. You can get a free Glyconutrients consultation by visiting

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How to Safely Help Seniors Take A Stress Free Bath

Anyone who has ever assisted a senior citizen in bathing will tell you that getting the person into and out of the tub safely is the most frightening aspect of the experience for both the elderly person and the care giver.

The walk-in tub is the newest and safest way to alleviate many of those fears. There are no high sides to try and step over and no slippery surfaces to slide on and cause loss of balance. The walk-in tub has a five inch rise with a twenty-four inch inward opening door that seals closed. The built in cushioned seat and the floor surface are both slip-proof.

With the faucets within arms reach and an eighteen inch extendable showerhead, the walk-in tub allows for greater independence than before possible. Seniors are now able to shampoo their own hair and shower themselves, restoring much of their dignity.

Equipped with many safety features, the walk-in tub permits family to rest easy knowing that their loved one can bathe themselves alone. An enhanced faucet reduces the wait time when filling the tub.

The walk-in tub has a special drain feature that allows it to drain many times faster than a conventional style bath tub. This is especially beneficial in the event of a health problem that may require immediate attention.

The walk-in tub has an anti-scald water mixing valve that will not allow the water temperature to rise above the preset temperature, assuring that a burn will not occur. Also, the tub has hydrotherapy jets that use air rather than water.

Extended periods of time exposed to high pressure water damages sensitive skin. With the warm air jets a person can receive the benefits of a water massage for a longer period of time resulting in a more relaxed and rejuvenating bath.

Water is drained rather than recirculated. This assures a bacteria-free environment within the tub. This is especially important for persons with diabetes, open wounds, and after any type of surgical procedure. This is another added bonus if the tub is to be used by another person.

The walk-in tub was designed to fit into the space that is normally used by a conventional tub and the plumbing matches up the same way. It comes in white and biscuit, but other colors are available if ordered. Made of high grade fiberglass, this easy maintenance tub is a must have for any senior in your family.

Dror Klar is an advocate and writer about top quality Window Treatments. Learn more about His Window Treatments,Blinds And Drapes at his websites.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

All You Need To Know About Depression

Depression is not a passing feeling of unhappiness, natural expected feelings of sadness from a difficult or painful event. It is a very real and sometimes even dangerous mental illness. Depression most often presents itself as feelings of sadness, but sadness is not necessarily depression.

Depression sufferers often have feelings of complete despair, hopelessness and a lack of purpose in life and enthusiasm for the world around them.

Depression may be one part of another condition or it may be its own concern apart from any other illnesses. It is a symptom of bipolar disorder, but not the entire disorder, depression is a very large part of manic depression and other associated illnesses but not the whole of manic depression.

Although depression may have a trigger in many cases, it is wrong to assume that some event may cause it.

Certainly stress and unfortunate life events may cause depression. It may present itself after an inability to achieve an individual's goal or desires, but should not be confused with natural feelings of disappointment or sadness.

Depression may strike an individual who experiences hormonal imbalance, which explains why women who face menopause are often a statistic of depression studies. Scientific research has also found a link to a gene fault that controls serotonin levels to the brain.

Some depression sufferers have also been recorded to be affected by weather conditions. Further investigation has found a vitamin deficiency in these sufferers. Much the same as statistics reveal depression is common in alcoholics due to a vitamin B1 deficiency.

Certainly depression sufferers feel unhappy most of the time, but someone who may not appear unhappy, or an individual who may rarely experience unhappiness may suffer from depression. As with many illnesses not all signs and symptoms have to be evident for the condition to be present.

Below are some of the signs and symptoms of depression. Again I will stress that signs and symptoms may not be obvious or evident for each individual.

. Unhappiness
. Lethargy in life, loss of interest in sex and/or other life joys
. Difficulty with decision making
. Feelings of drowsiness
. Restlessness, anxiety, and agitation
. Eating problems, either a loss of appetite, or excessive binge eating
. Feelings of inadequacy and/or a lack of self confidence
. Suicidal or self destructive thoughts

Please remember that not all depression sufferers entertain thoughts of suicide either by expression or in their own private thoughts. In fact, depression sufferers are not helped with the natural assumption from others that they must be suicidal. This is a serious sign and unfortunately, very common among sufferers and must be addressed, but this is not the 'be all' of the condition of depression.

Depression may also present with physical signs and symptoms, these include: headaches, joint aches and pains, dizziness, cramps or belly aches.

The good news is that depression help is available and can start right away by taking back control. A depression sufferer must take a deep breath and be bold in taking a step forward. A few of the things you may do for depression help is to establish a healthy eating plan, implement a natural sleeping pattern and change 'habits', certainly a change in routine is good for us all from time to time, on the occasions our routines, and routine thought patterns become stagnant or even harmful we may make a conscious effort to turn them into positive routines and thought patterns.

A depression sufferer should consciously praise themselves and establish a positive affirmation in reflection of their good qualities.

Most important, depression help must consist of self confrontation and talking to someone. Talk is essential for recovery, you are not alone. Most depression sufferers feel quite alone in their pain, actively seeking someone to share your concerns with does help depression.

While it is an important process towards wellness to take a proactive step towards recovery and practice self help I must recommend that you should seek professional advice if you experience the signs and symptoms of depression. Do not be fooled into the belief that depression is all in your head. Often, depression may be a symptom of another illness or an undiagnosed condition.

Depression help means discussing your concerns with a qualified practitioner. If perhaps you have been unfortunate enough to come across a GP who does not understand depression and who may not evaluate your condition to your satisfaction seek a second opinion. Although the medical world has come a long way in the past decade in the understanding of depression some doctors may not be quite up to date. Professional depression help is available; depression is a real condition and must not be ignored.

Alex Olson wrote a number of highly popular articles on health problems. In many of them she pays much attention to depression, its causes and treatment. If you need such information, you can find it at

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Burnout: The Effects Of Unavoidable Job Stress

Stress seems to be an inevitable part of any job. Even minor things can lead to feelings of stress. Petty arguments with supervisors and conflicts with co-workers are among the most common every day stressors. For some employees, however, the level of stress experienced goes far beyond job strain and the irritation of daily hassles. For some employees, the level of stress experienced on the job builds up until it is overwhelming and leads to a condition called burnout.

What is burnout? In general, burnout is described as emotional exhaustion. The most common symptoms associated with this emotional exhaustion include overwhelming fatigue, headaches, stomachaches, and impaired sleep. And, as burnout develops, it often leads to a deterioration in social skills. Individuals in the midst of burnout just do not interact with others as they did in the past. They often withdraw from others. They may lose patience more easily. They may become more abrupt and abrasive in their dealings with others. Their language on the job may become cruder. They may appear to be moody and depressed.

Over time, burnout has profound effects on job performance. Simply put, job performance suffers. Victims of burnout are likely to reduce the amount of work they do. They may avoid tasks that they find most stressful. Their absenteeism is likely to increase. In the worst case, they may suddenly quit their jobs with little notice to their employers. Supervisors may not be able to recognize burnout for what it is, but they certainly will notice the effects of burnout on job performance.

Burnout often occurs in those jobs we think of as the helping professions. Professions such as teaching, law enforcement, nursing, and social work are all potential breeding grounds for burnout. Interestingly, within these professions, burnout tends to strike the most dedicated and most idealistic individuals. While burnout has been observed for years in the so-called helping professions, it can occur in a wide range of jobs. The key seems to be the presence of inescapable, day-to-day frustrations which build up overtime.

The frustrations that lead to burnout can take many forms. Studies of professions such as teaching and nursing have suggested that burnout occurs when workers begin to believe that no one appreciates the work they do or the help they provide. Over time the difficulty of their task and the presence of ambitious, but ambiguous, goals may lead them to believe that their efforts have no real impact. When the feeling "it doesn't matter what I do" sets in, burnout is not far behind. Of course, these feelings are not limited to the helping professions. Anytime workers feel overwhelmed by the demands of their job and think that there is little support for their efforts, burnout becomes a threat.

Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to eliminate or reduce the development of burnout. First of all, it is important for supervisors to actively support their subordinates, to treat them fairly, and to provide them with appropriate feedback. Second, it is important for employees to develop a realistic view of what they can accomplish on the job. Unrealistic goals are a recipe for frustration and stress. Third, employees need to maintain a balanced lifestyle. Individuals who blur the boundaries between work and home are good candidates for burnout. Finally, employees need to learn specific techniques for reducing and managing their own perceived levels of stress. These techniques may include exercise and various relaxation procedures. Meditation, tai chi, and qigong are all examples of holistic health practices that might prove helpful. Practitioners have long argued that these disciplines enhance relaxation and reduce stress in the individual.

Douglas Hardwick, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Virginia. He has extensive interests in aging and holistic health issues. He recently developed a holistic health information hub:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Effects Of Depression In Men

Any person can conceivably have depression, and there's no
group or category of people who are immune to becoming
depressed. At some point it may have been generally
believed that males didn't become depressed, but this
notion is certainly false. In the United States, it's
believed that at least six million men are depressive.
While the idea that women become depressed and men don't is
wrong, there is typically a difference in the way men and
women express and deal with depression.

On the whole, depression usually goes untreated. There are
a number of potential reasons for this. Depression may
still be a poorly understood condition, and thus people
typically don't know when depression is occurring. Lack of
access could be a factor: insurance companies often limit
access to mental health care.

The belief that depression is somehow an indicator of
weakness or of insanity is still prevalent today, and this
sort of reasoning may especially resonate with men. Males
often feel a sense of obligation to be strong and
unshakable under all circumstances, and the thought of
failing at this will often cause men to feel a sense of
shame and even self-loathing. Rather than fail as a man
then, males may instead choose to suffer.

Though men may often choose suffering over help in cases of
depression, their suffering is rarely if ever silent.
Depression will always eventually be expressed in some way
or another, and this rule applies equally to men and women.
When a male vents his depressive feelings, the outcome can
be quite destructive. Men tend to turn to the old standby
of alcohol, and possibly narcotics as well, as coping
methods for emotional difficulties. The obvious potential
in using alcohol or narcotics for emotional assistance is
the development of dependency, and men are more likely than
women to report problems with addiction.

Depressive males may also become angry, possibly from the
frustration of being unwell but believing that their honor
prevents them from seeking help. When this sort of
depressive anger appears, the people closest to the
depressed male often feel it most. In extreme cases,
depressive anger can lead to acts of violence.

The reasoning then of depressed males who believe they're
better served by attempting to cope rather than seeking
intervention is poor logic at best. Depression without
intervention often leads to damaging results, with loved
ones typically feeling the brunt of the effects. Depression
with treatment leads to the restoration of good health in a
timely manner. The better choice is obvious.

About the Author:

Zinn Jeremiah is a freelance author. Find help with
depression by visiting or

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Anxiety and Breathing

There are many causes of anxiety. Food additives, sugar, adrenal dysfunction and other internally consumed substances. Situations in life that are threatening or seem so will cause anxiety. The idea you do not have enough time is a huge cause of anxiety.

Taking on too many projects or responsibilities invites anxiety and we too often forget we chose and often can un-choose. Spending too much money, getting into debt and worrying about that will cause anxiety. Eventually a certain level of anxiety becomes a 24/7 occurrence that we sort of get used to. How sad.

Add modern stressful living as well as past traumas resulting in vast numbers of people over reacting and even imagining things that do not really exist as threats or stresses or exist at all.

When the breathing is not allowed to stay in balance every reaction to life becomes distorted or negatively magnified. This breathing based distortion is what we call Unbalanced Dysfunctional Breathing, Unrevealed Dysfunctional Breathing or Unbalanced Deep Breathing.

Another aspect is when your mind interprets something that is negative and your unbalanced breathing over-reacts in an unbalanced way and that makes your nervous system get over-stimulated and anxiety heads towards panic, high blood pressure, migraine, hot flashes, ulcers, constipation, heart attacks or strokes.

What to do?

Generally the first line of defense if to remove a negative stimulus. The caffeine you ingested is driving you up the wall? Stop drinking caffeinated beverages. If there is snake in the area, remove the snake or leave the area. If this is impractical, (your boss is the "snake" or he/she is just so exciting you just cannot sit still), you take life saving prescription drugs that make you nervous, you can try to reduce your anxious reaction(s) by the way you are breathing. You can consciously both rebalance and slow your breathing down and reduce the anxiety level; at will.

This can be quite helpful but is often a temporary approach and your body may need more oxygen in the first place so slowing the breathing down may not be a good idea albeit a momentary quick fix and even life saving. The long term best approach is to manage the immediate anxiety and then change/develop your breathing so that it automatically adjusts and you stay calm and do not get anxious in the first place. "Courage under fire" might be one way of looking at it but it is really more about relaxing, feeling safe and or centered inside due to the way you breathe.

When your breathing over-reacts in an unbalanced way your body often tightens in several areas. You hold your breath or breathe shallowly to try to stay in control which only worsens the situation by creating oxygen deprivation and more tension which heightens the stress response and then the tension sets in to stay. This further restricts respiration and produces shallow, rapid distorted breathing.

Shallow breathing numbs our feelings and traps the anxiety inside, blocking smooth energy flow, which in turn triggers more physiological or psychological arousal, sending us up the anxiety and confusion escalator and then possibly down into depression, malaise and confusion. We see what is often called psychosomatic illness greatly stemming from this.

One of the best ways to handle any episode of emotional stress is simply to feel the feelings but make sure you keep breathing in a certain manner. Breathing naturally and well grounded (though many do not know what that really feels or looks like) allows us to feel our feelings and address the anxiety more rationally.

The entire autonomic nervous system (and through it, our internal organs and glands) is largely driven by our breathing sequencing and balance. By changing our breathing we can influence millions of biochemical reactions in our body, producing more relaxing substances such as endorphins and fewer anxiety-producing ones like adrenaline and higher blood acidity.

Mindfulness of the breath is so effective that it is common to all meditative and prayer traditions. But changing it fast enough so as not to require a long term stay in an institution, ashram or retreat center may be more practical for many.

Slow the breathing down naturally and if it is properly balanced you will feel less fearful of almost everything. Slow it down by holding it back and you may feel a little less anxious initially but if continued set up a breathing pattern disorder aka UDB and may continue to distort your nervous system responses in ways that only time and circumstance will present.

The following breathing exercise is particularly good for reducing anxiety, and lifting depression. It is temporary but it can help a lot and give one hope and direction for greatly improved success.

The Squeeze and Breathe. All rights reserved. Permission to copy granted when source is given as michael grant white.

Firstly understand that the lungs are smaller at the top.

This means that it is pointless to breathe into the high chest because there is very little lung volume compared to the lower lobes.

The mid chest and lower rear lobes are where the major volume is. The back of the trunk from mid back to waist is where the lower lobes most often allow for the most expansion. But tensions in the low back restrict expansion so we must both access and challenge the area in the following way.

For breathing that is calming, centering and energizing all at once.

Standing and knees slightly bent is preferable with tail bone tilted gently forward or supported by a small round pillow as above or a NADA Chair, Sit out near the edge of a fairly hard surfaced chair, stool or arm of a couch with feet flat on the floor, or stand.

Both of these positions need an erect but not stiff posture. Be "tallest" with your chin slightly above the horizon and slightly tucked in. If you stand, bend your knees slightly so as to unlock them.

Let your tongue lightly touch the roof or your mouth and your jaw relax. Relax your belly. Let it hang down. Let go of any fear of having a "pot belly" or not having "washboard abs". .

Place your thumbs over your kidneys (below your back ribs and above your pelvis. Wrap your fingers around your sides towards your belly button as if you were getting a front to back firm grip on your sides. Get a good full fingered grip by squeezing your fingers and thumbs together gently but firmly, then nose breathe a long slow deep 4 second in-breath, breathing into your squeezed fingers forcing them apart with your in-breath, against the tension that the squeezed fingers are constantly making.

In other words, using the force of your breathing-in to widen your fingers and thumbs against their attempt to stay tensely closed.

Then relax your grip and slow down the exhale so it lasts at least 8 counts. Never tighten the belly to extend the exhale. Simply slow the speed of the out-breath. Always keep the belly relaxed.

If you could not last the 4 count inhale or 8 second exhale try repeating it/them with a shorter count until you can achieve the 4 and 8.

1. How did that feel? Relaxing. Energizing? Anxious?

If you felt dizziness, light headedness, confusion or anxious it may have been counting too fast or you did not squeeze in the right place or strongly enough and then breathe into the squeezed thumb and fingers to separate them against their will. Stop and recommence in a minute or two after the dizziness/excessive energy has subsided or integrated within you.

Feel better? Calmer? Energized? Calm and energized at the same time? Anxious? If anxious try to lengthen the exhale count while keeping the inhale count the same or smaller. Example: a 4 count inhale and 10 count exhale or 4 count inhale and 12 count exhale. A 20 count exhale should be eventually attainable but for some it might take weeks or months to develop. Remember to never tighten the belly to make the exhale last longer.

Just let the air out much slower but make sure you do not tighten the belly muscles. You should eventually feel a calming and energizing throughout your entire body.

If that is not the right feel or timing then experiment with the same inhales but longer or shorter exhales until you discover a comfortable one that you can repeat for five to ten minutes preferably every waking hour.

The above is very powerful but still a temporary approach. If it helped you stay calm or energized even just a little bit I urge you to look more deeply into developing optimal breathing.

Michael White is a health educator, author, breathing development specialist, public speaker, vocalist, and CEO of and the Optimal Breathing School. He has helped thousands transform their lives through correct breathing and nutrition. Visit

Friday, November 02, 2007

Stress Management Tips and Advice

Stress is commonplace in western societies. A modicum of stress in the workplace can provide a stimulus to motivation and help achieve work tasks and objectives. However, many people visit their doctor and report high levels of stress which are incapacitating and are likely to lead to illness. Stress is not confined to work. Many parents who work and have young families report high levels of stress in trying to balance the competing claims of their spouse, children and workplace.

If you are suffering from stress, there are several steps you can take -

1 Self Affirmation.
Stress drains our energy and undermines our self esteem. In order to combat stress, it is essential to rebuild our self esteem. People under stress tend to focus on things which have gone wrong in their lives. What they fail to appreciate is that everyone can look back at the past and ponder on what might have been. Successful people ruminate on what happened in the past as well, either in their personal life or at work. Rather than dwell on failures or lost opportunities, they concentrate of why things went wrong, with a view to understanding the matter and thereby ensuring it does not happen again.

Everyone, whatever their circumstances, can think of something in their lives of which they can be rightly proud. It may be related to their family, home, car, children, hobbies or work. All of us can also remember something we have done which has brought forth praise or appreciation from another person. Thinking of these things will enable to all of us to realise the value we have added to the lives of other people around us. It also helps us to identify and focus on things we have done which are meritorious. Doing similar things will hopefully bring forth the same welcome effects.

It is up to an individual him/herself to raise their self esteem. It cannot be built up by doctors or medication. Self esteem is a prerequisite for making a contribution to the family, the workplace or society as a whole. If a person thinks he is useless, then he/she is unlikely to make an effort to do anything in life.

So, self esteem is a vital facet of stress management. It gives us the motivation and resolve to face challenges and conquer them.

2 Talk about things.
Although stress is a medical condition, there are invariably one or more problems facing a person which have increased his/her stress levels. If there are many problems facing a person, such that he/she feels overwhelmed, then the first thing to do is make a written list. This simple exercise adds focus and structure to problems. If possible, sort the list by the urgency of the problems, so you can see at a glance when things need to be dealt with.

With respect to each and every problem, a useful starting point is to consider the matter in a calm and neutral environment. If the problem relates to work, it may be best to think about it at home. Alternatively, if there is a problem at home, then a walk round the block may help to put matters in perspective.

We all have different conceptual and intellectual abilities to examine problems and explore solutions. Regardless of these abilities, it is always useful to talk to someone about your problems, real or imagined. Choosing an appropriate person is vitally important. Some men are known to go to a bar or pub and parade their problems to male peers who are in an equally inebriated state. While these peers will invariably take the view that you are right and the other person is wrong, especially if you have just bought a round of drinks, it is rare for practical suggestions to emanate from such dialogues.

Some companies have a Personnel Department and often have counsellors available who deal with stress at work. If so, contacting them is doubly useful. Firstly, they should have some professional training in how to deal with stress and problems at work, and secondly, should be able to speak to other people who may be instrumental in aggravating the stress, provided you give your consent for this to take place.

Many people are blessed with good friends. These friends are invaluable when problems arise. Many of us are reluctant to speak with friends about our problems as we feel that we are imposing on them. This is true, but then again, this is what friends are for. All of us must be able to recall instances when a friend, close of otherwise, confided in us concerning a problem and requested our advice. Well, friendship is based on reciprocity. Although our friends may not be able to provide definitive solutions to problems, the old adage, a problem shared is a problem halved, remains true. The simple exercise of telling a receptive listener about a problem assists us to articulate matters clearly and succinctly. This, in itself, is a benefit and a friend will invariably have something interesting and relevant to say about things.

3 Take a break.
The author regularly visits North Cyprus and spends time in rural areas. For people who live in the northern hemisphere, the winter season can be a contributor to high stress levels. This is not due to the cold, but rather the shortness of the day and the lack of natural sunlight.

If possible, try to take a break in the winter, rather than use up all your annual leave in the summer. When you are on holiday, it is preferable to leave problems of work behind. For many of us, this means we should not take our mobile phone and laptop with us.

If you are on holiday in a warm, sunny climate, then it is important to take advantage of these natural conditions. In other words, taking long walks along the beach is more beneficial than drinking cheap alcohol in the evening.

In many parts of the Mediterranean, old men spend hours each day sitting at tables in outdoor coffee shops. It should be noted that the average age in some establishments will be 80 plus. While their lifestyle may have been rather different from ours in their younger years, this is not the sole reason for their longevity. They are part of a community which respects the modest contribution each person makes to the public good. They realise that for every talented and exceptional individual, there will be a dozen ordinary folk who will live relatively modest and uneventful lives.

The lesson from the coffee shop is that we should learn to value who we are and what we have been given and/or have achieved. Moving beyond this, our ambitions should be realistic and within our capabilities. A happy and contented person does not suffer from undue stress.

Leslie Hardy is the UK Chairman of Wellington Estates Ltd, a North Cyprus property development company. Read more about stress at

7 Tips to Fight Stress With Healthy Eating

Whenever we get too stressed out, many of us tend
to make poor food choices that actually increase stress and cause other problems.

Follow these simple tips to get the most out of your food and avoid stress.

1. Always eat breakfast. Even though you may think you aren't hungry, you need to eat something. Skipping breakfast makes it harder to maintain the proper blood and sugar levels during the day, so you should always
eat something.

2. Carry healthy snacks at all times. Keeping some protein rich snacks in your car, office, or pocket book will help you avoid blood sugar level dips, the accompanying mood swings, and the fatigue. Trail mix, granola bars, and energy bars all have the nutrients you need.

3. Try green tea instead. The caffeine in coffee and sodas can have stress-producing effects on your system. Try to gradually wean yourself off of caffeine drinks (going cold turkey can leave you with a headache, usually on the second day). Replace that coffee urge with a cup of green tea, which is soothing to the senses and contains lots of antioxidants.

4. Replace bad munchies with healthy ones. If you like to munch when you're stressed out, you can replace chips or other non healthy foods with carrot sticks, celery sticks, or even sunflower seeds.

5. Drink your water. That means at least 8 cups a day. This helps filter stress-induced and stress-producing toxins from your system, and can also keep you energized. Being dehydrated can actually cause fatigue.

6. Bring your lunch to work or school. Although a lot of people prefer to eat fast food for lunch, you can save a lot of money and actually eat healthier if you take a few minutes and pack a lunch at home. Even if you only do this a few times a week, you'll see a much better improvement over eating out.

7. Stock your home with the good stuff. As important as it is to get the bad food out of your house, it's even more important to get the good food in! The best way to do this is to plan a menu of healthy meals, including healthy snacks, at the beginning of the week, list the ingedients you need, and then go shop for them. This way, you'll know what you want when you need it and you won't have to stress over what to eat.

Andrea Arnold writes about nutrition and healthy eating at

Stress in the Workplace - A Management Responsibility

Stress is considered to be the main cause of many medical conditions, including heart problems. At the same time, the nature of stress is multifaceted and difficult to define, and the reasons for its increase are poorly understood.

Stress in the workplace can have a disastrous effect on peoples' health and lead to sickness and absence. It can also seriously disrupt the business and reduce profits. Yet many organisations consider stress to be a personal problem of individual workers, and something which an organisation can do little to address.

The amount of stress in the workplace is generally considered to be increasing. The concept of a job for life has been consigned to history and most workers will need to learn new skills during the course of their career. Male manual workers in traditional heavy industries such as mining, steel and manufacturing may need to adapt to the very different work situation of an office environment. Advances in Information Technology mean that staff will need to become computer literate and this can be a major challenge for anyone over 40 years of age.

The cost of labour is invariably the biggest cost of any organisation in a western economy and dwarfs the costs of machinery and business premises. Most large firms have an opportunity to relocate part of their operations in a low wage location such as India, and this increases the pressure on management to increase the productivity of staff in the mature economies of the west. All companies are searching for ways to reduce their staff and to make their existing staff work harder and to greater effect.

In one sense, stress can be productive. Giving people targets and deadlines invariably generates mild levels of stress and this state of agitation can help to focus attention on the tasks to hand.

However, many workers report symptoms of stress which are decidedly unhealthy and lead to sickness and prolonged periods of absence from work. It has always been the case that high flying, young male executives experience high levels of stress and this often leads to burn out at an early age. These high flyers were often difficult to work with and received little sympathy from colleagues whom they had mistreated over the years, in the event of a physical or mental collapse.

In recent times, stress has permeated the entire workplace and there are many people who genuinely feel that they are unable to cope with the demands of work. Responses vary. Some staff will seek to avoid responsibility and try to get others to make difficult decisions. Others will turn down opportunities for promotion. Some will simply start looking for a job elsewhere, and eventually leave the organisation. Worse still, some may embark on regular and prolonged periods of sickness, while still drawing their salaries and other benefits of employment.

Most articles on the subject of stress focus on ways an individual can try to reduce stress in work and learn how to cope. While these are undoubtedly useful, it should also be remembered that the management of the organisation is ultimately responsible for the welfare of staff. A stress ridden workplace, with high staff turnover and excessive sick leave is neither beneficial for employees nor the organisation itself.

A progressive company should always be looking for new ways of working more efficiently and effectively in order to reduce costs and increases revenues or profits. The management of human resources is probably the most crucial element in this quest.

There are several things an organisation can do -

1. The organisation of work in a company should be a top management function, and should be the subject of company wide, regular reviews. This does not mean that emphasis should be place on rewriting job functions every few months. In fact many argue that excessively detailed job specifications are the source of inertia and atrophy. What is required is an appreciation of the human implications of corporate strategy. In other words, as the activities of the organisation change or expand, then careful thought should be given as to how the workforce should adapt to these changes in order to make the strategy a success.

2. Recruitment of skilled and capable staff is essential to the achievement of corporate objectives. In all organisations, there will be leaders and followers, and poor selection of leaders will inevitably lead to corporate collapse. Therefore great care should be given to the selection process for the recruitment of key staff. In addition to personal qualities such as vision, intelligence, energy and dynamism, it is also important that key staff can inspire and motivate their junior colleagues.

3. Management styles have, or should have, moved away from the traditional hierarchical and authoritarian based military model. In other words, staff perform tasks, not because they are simply told to by management, but because they appreciate the value of their role in the organisation as a whole. On this approach, the remit of a manager is to assist staff to perform their roles and to inspire commitment based on his or her personal example.

4. There should be a culture in the workplace whereby staff who are experiencing difficulty in discharging their tasks have an informal forum in which to discuss these matters. It is simply incorrect to think that the reason why a person is not performing well must always be due to a personal failure on their behalf. Staff are often given targets which are impossible and deadlines which are unrealistic. In this case, the failure lies with the manager who allocated this task, rather than the unfortunate person who was given the job.

5. All workers should have a personal development plan. The plan should identify the skills they need to develop and discharge their responsibilities more effectively, and provide training or supervised learning experiences which will assist in skill building. If a member of staff is content with his or her current responsibilities and is not seeking a pay rise or promotion, then one should be able to articulate this preference without fear of ridicule or discrimination.

If these steps are implemented then the staff of an organisation will learn how to work imaginatively and proactively. This will invariably lead to a reduction in stress.

Leslie Hardy is the UK Chairman of Wellington Estates Ltd, a North Cyprus property development company. Read the full text of this article at

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Coping Effectively With Work Related Stress

Many individuals go from one day to the next not realizing the amount of stress that they actually contend with. This is especially true when it comes to stress that is work related. Deadlines, meetings, obligations, and basic performance all contribute to the stress that many of us experience on a daily basis. In this article, we will discuss effective methods on how to cope effectively with work related stress. It is essential that you pay special attention to the details contained within this informative article to ensure that you are able to cope effectively.

Individuals who retain positions that are considered to be leadership roles normally experience a high level of stress. This is due to the fact that these roles normally come with a lot of responsibility. Individuals who are in leadership positions often must make important decisions, delegate in a responsible manner, and deal with extra large workloads. Many of these individuals feel overworked and under appreciated. This, on top of the basic responsibilities, can cause A LOT of stress.

It has been determined that most people in leadership positions hold a high risk of developing serious illnesses, medical conditions, and diseases. The following represents some of the most common medical complications that an individual may experience as a result of stress:
- Heart Disease
- Heart Attack
- Stroke
- Decreased Immune Strength

It is important for you to understand that stress can actually affect your overall work performance. If you feel as if you are experiencing high levels of stress in the workplace, it is important to discuss your concerns with a supervisor. Your supervisor may be able to provide you with ways to cope with the stress more effectively. If you are having trouble with a certain task, they may be able to help clarify it for you. If you feel as if you need some extra help, they may be able to provide you with an assistant for a short amount of time to take some of the workload off of you.

Many individuals make the mistake of allowing their work to completely consume them. If you are one of these individuals, you should change your priorities. While it is very important to give your best in the workplace, it is even more important to properly delegate and handle your time in an efficient manner. Take your mind off of your work when you are not working. Schedule a variety of activities in your life so that you can get some relief from work related stress. This will help eliminate the high stress levels that you experience.

In order to reduce the stress that you experience in the workplace, it is important to ensure that you are taking care of yourself. This includes making sure that you are active and exercise on a regular basis, eat the right kinds of food, and take the time to rest as appropriate. Doing all of these things can help to ensure that your body remains healthy and that you are able to mentally and physically handle any type of stress that you may experience in the workplace.

It is important to understand that we cannot always change a situation, but we are able to control how we perceive that situation. If you experience a high amount of stress, it is important to take a step back and try to find the positive in the situation. If you are able to change the way that you see a situation, you are less likely to experience as much stress with the situation. This is a wonderful coping strategy.

Workplace stress can end up being an extreme burden on an individual if it is not dealt with in an appropriate manner. By using the coping strategies listed here, you will be able to find the peace that is necessary to handle the burdens of the day to day responsibilities at work. Furthermore, your body will not suffer from the dangerous side effects of stress.

Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of, a site that provides information and articles for self improvement and personal growth and development.

Stress Relief Techniques For A Preschool Child - Part Two

In the first part of this two-part article, we discussed, from
my viewpoint as career educator of more than 30 years, the fact
that preschools and families are increasing stress on preschool
children. To clarify, we worked through a brief definition of
preschool stress, and looked at the underlying reason for
preschool stress.

Finally, we considered the basic requirement of preschool
stress relief. We pick up at that point.

Basic Requirement of Preschool Stress Relief

Stress relief techniques for a preschool child must be
fashioned in accordance with the underlying reason for stress:
the child's need for control.

Establish Boundaries

Preschool stress relief depends on the establishment of
boundaries. We must establish physical boundaries to keep a
child safe physically. We must also establish emotional, mental,
and spiritual boundaries to give the child safety. As long as
boundaries do not exist, or can be knocked down, children will
experience stress in seeking them. Here are a few examples of
preschool stress relief in action.

1. At reading time, the physical boundary is the reading
circle, reading rug, or whatever part of the room you designate.
The child is to be there and nowhere else. Doesn't this create
preschool stress? No. It is strong preschool stress relief. When
children know clearly that only one location is acceptable,
control is established for them. They do not need to seek
control by responding inappropriately. They can relax.

Preschool stress relief requires us to teach children these
boundaries and help them understand that they will be happy and
safe within them. They never have to test the boundary. We help
relieve stress.

2. When an adult gives a command or makes a request, the mental
and emotional boundary is immediate and full compliance. Adults
set the boundary once, with no counting involved. The amount of
time children wait to obey is the amount of time they are
outside the boundary – an unhappy place to be.

If we want to provide preschool stress relief for children, we
will be sure they understand that remaining outside that
boundary is inappropriate. We do not ignore their disobedience.
We make obedience important. We reward it, and remove the need
for decision.

3. Stress relief techniques for a preschool child also
establish control for the child when it comes to expectations
that children will get along with one another. This expectation
is not unrealistic or burdensome. Preschool stress relief in
this area takes the form of instructing and showing that good
things result from efforts to get along. If we separate children
who are unwilling to cooperate with one another, we add to the
stress, making it difficult for them to know what to do. Our
voices tell them they must get along, but separation rewards
their failure to do so.

Give Responsibility

Preschool stress relief gives children responsibility for their
actions. It does not blame refusal to stay within boundaries on
circumstances outside the child. Life will always contain
circumstances beyond their control. Preschool stress relief
helps them learn early that appropriate responses to stress are
based on boundaries, and their responsibility to stay within the

Stressful Crayons

A good object lesson in preschool stress relief is to give
children a coloring page and crayons. Talk to them about how
unhappy the crayons will be if they go outside the lines. Tell
them the lines are there to make it easier for the crayons. If
they had to color a parrot (or whatever the picture) without
lines to guide them, it would be much harder. It would make the
crayons feel anxious. They could not be sure if they were doing
it right. The lines make the crayons happy and relaxed.

As the children color, explain that they are like crayons. They
need lines. They need boundaries. As long as they stay inside
life's lines, they will be much happier.


Preschool stress relief is not complicated. We should not make
it so. Teachers and parents who focus on natural, common sense
boundaries will achieve a high level of preschool stress relief
without struggle.

About The Author: ©2007, Anna Hart. Anna brings to her writing
her professional training and expertise as an educator and
published author. When she writes at about preschool stress
relief, she does so from experience and carefully conducted
research. Anna invites you to read about preschool temper
tantrums on her blog site.

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Stress Out The Stress Demon

Do you feel as if the world is tumbling down on you and that
you're running out of time? Are you losing sleep and eating less
due to many responsibilities and too much pressure because of
the demands from your family, friends or from work? Well, you
are not the only one, kids and adults alike experience this
feeling, it's what we commonly call stress.

It is what we experience when we respond to a particular
challenging, troublesome and uncomfortable event. It's a normal
occurrence in our life, everyday most of us are under stress but
what is important is how we cope up with such situations.

Stress is an emotional feeling or physical tension. It occurs
when we are under tight situations we have no control of. It
comes in many names like tension, anxiety, uptight feeling or
apprehension. What we consider stressful may not be to others.

There is good and bad stress. Good or positive stress happens
during emergency situations or when we anticipate an exciting
situation. Did you wonder why you were able to carry your
refrigerator alone when there was fire in the neighborhood or
what made you run faster when you thought someone was after you?
But there is worse than good stress.

Stress can be acute, episodic acute and chronic. The most
common is the acute stress. It is the result of pressure and
demands of the past and expected probable to happen in the
future. Episodic stress happens to individuals who are always in
a rush but always late and disorganized. Chronic stress
devastates the mind and body and eventually your life. It's the
result of poverty, unhappiness, dysfunctional families and
hatred. What's ironic is that people get used to it and even
forget that it is there.

What's important is how to combat stress. There is what we call
Stress Management. These are ways to fight stress. But first you
have to take an inventory of yourself, think what's making you
stress out. You have to learn how to manage some stress-inducing
situations. The best way is to have a balanced life, avoid
excessiveness in everything.

Try some relaxation techniques like yoga, include exercise in
your daily activities, take healthy nutritional food and take
vitamins. Be prepared and be organized always in all you do.
Lastly, take active part in religious activities. You might be
amazed that it really works.

About The Author: Make you stress disappear today:

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3 Techniques For Overcoming Anxiety

Many people who suffer with excessive blushing also have a
problem with anxiety. It is common for excessive blushers to
associate their anxiety as something that is caused by their
problem blushing. In many cases, however, it is likely that
anxiety is the trigger for excessive blushing. When it comes to
excessive blushing and social anxiety, as with the classic
"chicken or the egg" question, it's hard to know which comes

The truth of the matter is likely that in some cases blushing
triggers anxiety, and in others, anxiety triggers blushing. Many
people with excessive blushing assume that if they could stop
blushing, their anxiety problems would go away. It's important
to realize that the anxiety itself may be the cause of some
excessive blushing problems. If anxiety is causing some or all
of the blushing, it only makes sense to work on controlling
anxiety as a means of controlling excessive blushing.

Tips for Reducing Anxiety

By practicing the techniques presented here, you can play a
proactive role in reducing your anxiety, which can also help
reduce the occurrence of excessive blushing.

1. Stop Stress Before It Starts

Each person has the ability to exert control over his or her
responses to stressful situations. By definition, stress is
simply a reaction to a stimulus. When you feel stressed out, you
are reacting to some sort of internal or external stimulus.

Feeling stressed out does not have to be an automatic response
to a stress-inducing stimulus. People can train themselves to
pause in between experiencing a trigger for a stress response,
and actually keep the reaction from occurring. Taking this pause
enables you to choose to react to the trigger in a more
productive manner. By training yourself to avoid letting stress
be your immediate response to stimuli, you are able to reduce
anxiety and stress in your daily life.

2. Breathing Exercises

The best breathing exercise for overcoming anxiety simply
involves paying attention to how you breathe when you are not
feeling anxious or stressed out. Focus on your breath, so you
know what normal breathing feels like. When you start to feel
stressed out, remind yourself to concentrate on your breathing.
This will help you return to normal breathing patterns, and help
you remove your focus from the situation that is triggering your

3. Exercise Regularly

Exercise can relax you physically and mentally. Spending even a
few minutes each day engages in an enjoyable physical activity
can play an important role in reducing your anxiety levels.

While these three techniques aren't an overnight cure to a
lifetime of problem blushing, they can have a positive impact on
your overall anxiety levels. The less anxiety you experience,
the less of an issue problem blushing is likely to be for you.
Instead of stressing out over how to stop blushing so much,
focus on reducing some of the stress in your life. Getting your
stress reactions to anxiety-inducing situations under control is
a key to reducing the impact of excessive blushing on your life.

About The Author: Blushing is problem for a lot of people and
unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation out there for
people looking for help. If you find yourself needing help to
stop blushing then visit our website for the most accurate
information on the topic:

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