The effects of stress – and tips for managing stress effectively
by Keris Lahiff
Managing stress levels is crucial to maintaining a health work-life balance. After all, following a stressful day at the office, your stress levels won’t flick the switch the minute you walk out the door – it is more likely they will hang over your head until a sufficient amount of TV time has assuaged anxiety.
More than simply getting you flustered, stress can have a dire effect on your health. According to research from the American Heart Association, specifically targeting women, of the 17,000 women studied over the course of 10 years, those with a stressful job had a 40 per cent higher risk of heart disease and 88 per cent higher risk of heart attack.
But it’s not just the heart under stress-induced strain – stress has also been linked to depression, headaches, acne, diabetes, digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome and a lowered immune system.
Following the hard-knock years of the GFC, many workers are looking to improve work-life balance, according to the Workmonitor Mobility Index, published by recruitment firm Randstad. In fact, 83 per cent of those surveyed would like to improve their work-life balance in 2011. Is it time you did likewise?
Here are five tips for managing stress to level the work-life playing field:
- Look at your schedule and actually allocate time for things you enjoy instead of pushing them to the bottom of the list.
- Make the time for family and friends. Fostering strong relationships is a crucial aspect of good mental health.
- Be open and honest with yourself, your family and friends, and colleagues. If others know of your stress, they can assist where fit or avoid adding to it with unnecessary demands.
- Avoid alcohol and other harmful substances. These may seem like a cure for stress at the time, but can act as a crutch or enabler later down the track.
- Breathe. A few deep, calm breaths can be a good way to collect your thoughts, calm down and re-enter the work with greater clarity.
Finally, don’t burn yourself out at work. You’ll be a smoking mess by the time you return home. Keep your health, physical, emotional and mental, top of mind and determine your own checklist of ways in managing stress.
If you’re looking to work on your business rather than being stuck in it, book in for a complimentary business assessment today with Switzer Business Coaching.
Published on: Thursday, February 24, 2011