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Let’s examine why stress is increasing

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Stress and Work/Life Balance
This article is based on the free eBook “Stress and Work/Life Balance”

Modern day stress seems to be more widespread than ever and many of the reasons are obvious, such as more work by less people, financial uncertainty, job insecurity, constant performance measurement, the increasing requirement for instant information or response, impossible targets, juggling work/home priorities, the downsides of cyberspace technology, the depressing state of affairs in many parts of the world and much more besides.

Another reason sometimes suggested is that, thanks to far reaching research, so much more is known about the subject now and some will suggest that this encourages unhealthy circumspection. This underlines the need to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the subject rather than a superficial one.

Might it all be the fault of others?

Ask a group of managers or staff to volunteer what sort of everyday occurrence has them feeling uptight and the variety is always striking.

  • Being set unrealistic deadlines
  • The state of my teenager’s bedroom
  • People not calling me back
  • 300 e-mails waiting for me after two days away
  • My boss ignoring me
  • The traffic jams on my way to work
  • Colleagues’ idle chatter when we are all so busy
  • Old ladies holding everyone up at the check-out
  • Multi-choice telephone answering systems
  • People who don’t seem to care
  • My next door neighbour’s cat
  • Pointless meetings which go on for ever

Then ask them to identify a common link and someone will eventually volunteer that they are all directly or indirectly about other people. I will encourage them to consider it is simply called ‘life’, is virtually inevitable and by and large you can do very little about changing it. This sometimes draws heated accusations of complacency or defeatism but significantly, such hostility will come primarily from those who have already shown themselves to be the more stressed members of the group. One of the key skills in coping with would-be stressors is to identify and learn to tolerate those things you cannot change.

Self recognition and honesty

Given the premise that we have choice in the extent to which we allow everyday frustrations and setbacks to affect our mood, it follows that our perceptions of such matters are vital and of course these can vary alarmingly from day to day, influenced by what else has been going on at work, home, or even the journey between the two. A challenging situation today may give us a buzz, whereas the identical situation tomorrow might be a burden. The dual recognition that (a) we have choice of perception and (b) that we can often be our own worst enemy are not easy to remember when we are having a bad day. If we are too absorbed by the negatives, we become blinkered and find it hard to see the wood from the trees. Self-flagellation!

It’s time to start thinking positively again!

If you want to delve a bit deeper into the topic of stress and stress management, you might want to read the free business eBook “Stress and Work/Life Balance“.

Download “Stress and Work/Life Balance” right here