Challenge Stress. Joe Robinson explains why ignoring stress aggravates it.
Stop Work Stress in Its Tracks
Like other types of stress, job stress is triggered when a demand, or stressor, threatens to overwhelm your capacity to cope. A deadline, something someone says, a setback on a project—any number of things can set off stress. When the response is activated, an ancient part of your brain believes your life is in danger.
That perception may seem very real, but it's a false alarm almost all the time when it comes to work stress, since job demands are seldom a matter of life or death. The stress response was designed for another time and place, an African savanna millennia ago, and doesn't know how to process the social stresses of the modern world.
Yet the body reacts as if it really were a life-and-death moment, sending the central nervous system into flight-or-fight mode. That unleashes a surge of adrenaline and cortisol that make your heart beat faster and blood pressure rise. That forces the body to work much harder and taxes your entire system—even when you're sleeping. But it's all a false emergency that we can turn off by learning how to manage stress.
Controlling stress is essential, because it is extremely costly to health, performance, and bottom lines. Health costs for employees with high levels of stress are 46% higher. Stress hijacks attention, causes conflict, drives mistakes, prevents complex decision-making, and creates havoc in our bodies. It suppresses the immune system, increases the bad cholesterol, and decreases the good kind. Stress can lead to strokes, back pain, IBS, insomnia, depression, and a long list of serious health issues.
Turn Off Stress in 4 Minutes
When you shut off the danger signal driving the false alarm, the stress stops in four minutes. Our stress management programs teach how do that with the best cognitive, behavioral, and physical techniques. Learn how to:
• Identify and reframe stressors
• Control irrational fears
• Change your "explanatory style" to stop stress in the act
• Dispute stress and catastrophic thoughts
• Deploy five of the most effective stress-reduction practices
• Get skills to deal with difficult people and set boundaries
Risking Life and Bottom Lines
The stress response was designed to go off only for a limited time until you were out of harm's way, not 24/7, as it can be with chronic stress. Because the stress response suppresses your immune system, chronic stress can set off any number of major medical problems.
More than two dozen studies have conclusively linked work stress with heart disease alone. "It's not just a nuisance," says Dr. Steven Lamm, of New York University Mt. Sinai Medical School. "It's as much of a risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and cancer as the other known carcinogens. The impact on the immune system is overwhelming."
Job stress also has a huge price tag for bottom lines, costing business $344 billion a year in absenteeism, lost productivity, and health costs (Middle Tennessee State study).
It's all preventable, because there are very effective tools to control stress. A stress management program conducted by St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance for 22 hospitals cut medication errors by 50% and decreased malpractice claims 70%.
Stress Management Makes Stress Optional
The research shows we can have a different reaction when stress shows up. We can use our heads to override emotional defaults from an ancient brain that thinks it's the year 100,000 B. C.
Our stress management programs build the skills and practices that are essential to reducing job stress. It's not the stressors that are setting off our primitive defense mechanisms; it's our reaction to them. That's something we can change. Clearly, there are external factors that drive stress—from lack of time to get tasks done to overload—but how we respond to them is key.
Stress is highly contagious, something that is passed along through departments and organizations. It subverts intellect, puts emotions on a hair trigger, makes it hard to plan or see the big picture, and sets off a cascade of medical bills. Studies show stressed-out employees are more likely to be absent from work, and they spend 26% more on physicians and 27% more on specialists than those who don't have high stress.
Don't Take Stress - Take Charge
Stop the stress-burnout cycle with our stress management programs and courses. Click the button below and let's chat about a stress management training for your organization or for yourself. Learn how much control you really have over stress and how much healthier, focused, and productive you and your team can be without it.