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    Growing up is fun but really stressful by an adolescent

     

    : College is one of the most important phases in any person’s life. There are some who enjoy these days by going to parties and watching movies and simply enjoy themselves, there are others who have to work and provide for to a family at the same time. This period, like any other period, in a person’s life goes through in phases and with each phase comes an increasing level of stress. Some stress is good and is necessary, it is termed as Eustress. It is the minimum level of stress that keeps us motivated to do our best and thus is positive in nature. Some stress is negative and its constancy can cause us much harm, this kind of stress is known as Distress. The first change that occurs with college is the absolute freedom we receive, and we are not always use to it and get carried away in the process. Important decisions are to be made, like what courses to choose and what career to follow? Whether to live at home or in a hostel? Students have to develop an ethical value system that is best suited to them. Once the courses are chosen, the most common reason for stress is grades. The students put themselves under a lot of pressure to perform better, the professors often tend to side the ones who score high marks rather than focusing on how much the students learn, the pressure to perform together with the pressure to impress could lead to a lot of stress. Students who enter college on scholarship programs or those from low socio economic status who have the responsibility of caring and providing for the family, suffer the most. Some of them even take up part time jobs that leave them no time to relax. Next in line are friends. Friends are the most important part of any ones life. Friends give our life meaning and to some extent help us find our inner self. Making new friends and adjusting with their lifestyles is never easy. Sometimes it may lead to change in the value system. In the shoes of a non-smoker, “Do I really need to smoke to fit in the group?” Sometimes individuals change their entire perspective on life. Deciding on giving in to peer pressure or to stick with your own values and judgments often lead to conflict and stress. Love is another important change in an adolescent’s life. There are different kinds of lovers. There are some who feel love is a game. Some feel it is something which would make them cool. Some are just flirting and then there are those who think love is eternal and forever. With these different perspectives sometimes different kinds of lovers get together. This could lead to a lot of stress. From one of my heart broken friends I got this, “My boyfriend thinks love is just another game in life. If you are strong enough you will win the game or else you are a looser. Sex is just another parameter just like cloths or shoes in life.” Many times sex is misunderstood and misused as love. Sometimes girls feel pressurized into being physical on the demand of their boyfriends. Sometimes it can lead to date rape or sexual harassment also. Most girls get too embarrassed to talk about it or seek much needed help; this resistance is very harmful to their mental and physical health. With love and relationships come break-ups. Breakups are never easy. It can lead to self doubt, feeling depressed, and can sometimes also lead to a negative and poor self image. By the age of 17, most of the college students have had their heart broken and fallen in love all over again. By the time they are 18, they face different kind of stressors. Now they are official adults and have far more responsibilities. There is a conflict inside of them, as they are not children and not totally adults. They have to find socially accepted ways to express themselves. This is a period where adolescents usually face identity confusion. They are in the process of making an individual identity based on their on values. Sometimes these values go against the values of their parents and family systems. In a typical Indian society, there are a lot of gender related stressors. Adolescent girls are under the pressure of getting married, and many times against their will. She is expected to perform all the house hold functions and duties and has to manage her education and homely duties which can be very stressful. She is expected to be humble and respectful and is many times not allowed to speak her mind. She is dominated by the wishes of her father and is given very little freedom. On the other hand the male child is encouraged to go out, and make a living. They are given more freedom than women. These are few stressors that my surveys conclusively indicated. There are far too many that are faced by the adolescents of today. The stressors faces by adolescents today are far more different from the ones faces by their parents or even their elder siblings. The adolescents in our modern world are aware and willing to make a difference.

         
    Have one week will relax your 7 days program to stress management

     

    They say there's more than one way to skin a cat. The same goes when you start tearing your hair out with all the frustration, grief, anxiety, and yes, stress. It's a state of mental conditioning that is like taking that bitter pill down your throat, causing you to lose your sense of self, and worse your sanity. Just thinking about it can drive anyone off the edge. And they say that the proactive ones are already living off the edge. As one stressed-out person to another, I know how it feels, and believe me there are many variants when it comes to stress. Coping with life, and carrying the problems that may or may not belong to you can scratch away the little joy and happiness that you can carry once you head out that door. You can't blame them for being like that; they have their own reasons, so much like we have our reasons to allow stress to weigh us down. They say that stress is all in the mind, well, what's bugging you anyway? There are several ways to manage stress, and eventually remove it out of your life one of these days. So I'll try to divide it into a seven-day course for you and I promise it's not going to be too taxing on the body, as well as on the mind. 1. Acknowledge stress is good Make stress your friend! Based on the body's natural "fight or flight" response, that burst of energy will enhance your performance at the right moment. I've yet to see a top sportsman totally relaxed before a big competition. Use stress wisely to push yourself that little bit harder when it counts most. 2. Avoid stress sneezers Stressed people sneeze stress germs indiscriminately and before you know it, you are infected too! Protect yourself by recognizing stress in others and limiting your contact with them. Or if you've got the inclination, play stress doctor and teach them how to better manage themselves. 3. Learn from the best When people around are losing their head, who keeps calm? What are they doing differently? What is their attitude? What language do they use? Are they trained and experienced? Figure it out from afar or sit them down for a chat. Learn from the best stress managers and copy what they do. 4. Practice socially acceptable heavy breathing This is something I've learned from a gym instructor: You can trick your body into relaxing by using heavy breathing. Breathe in slowly for a count of 7 then breathe out for a count of 11. Repeat the 7-11 breathing until your heart rate slows down, your sweaty palms dry off and things start to feel more normal. 5. Give stressy thoughts the red light It is possible to tangle yourself up in a stress knot all by yourself. "If this happens, then that might happen and then we're all up the creek!" Most of these things never happen, so why waste all that energy worrying needlessly? Give stress thought-trains the red light and stop them in their tracks. Okay so it might go wrong - how likely is that, and what can you do to prevent it? 6. Know your trigger points and hot spots Presentations, interviews, meetings, giving difficult feedback, tight deadlines…. My heart rate is cranking up just writing these down! Make your own list of stress trigger points or hot spots. Be specific. Is it only presentations to a certain audience that get you worked up? Does one project cause more stress than another? Did you drink too much coffee? Knowing what causes you stress is powerful information, as you can take action to make it less stressful. Do you need to learn some new skills? Do you need extra resources? Do you need to switch to decaf? 7. Burn the candle at one end Lack of sleep, poor diet and no exercise wreaks havoc on our body and mind. Kind of obvious, but worth mentioning as it's often ignored as a stress management technique. Listen to your mother and don't burn the candle at both ends! So having stress can be a total drag, but that should not hinder us to find the inner peace of mind that we have wanted for a long time. In any case, one could always go to the Bahamas and bask under the summer sun. Find more information related to stress-free life at stresscontainment. thegreat. info , emotionalhealth. thegreat. info , stressfreelife. thegreat. info

         
    Holiday stress cure holiday sex

     

    : I don't know if it's because I'm getting older or this world is getting more and more materialistic - but Christmas is really becoming an overwhelming holiday for many people, especially women - and not just mothers. Everyone has this idealistic fantasy of what a good holiday celebration should consist of: Good food. Presents. Family. Gatherings. Decorations. Christmas lights. Concerts. School plays. The list goes on and on. Everyone is under some sort of pressure to perform - and if you aren't - then you are under some sort of pressure to appear at someone else's celebration - or you feel like the only person in the world who has no one during the holiday season to celebrate with. Wherever you fit in, don't forget to have sex! If you have someone readily available to have it with - then have it. Because as I write articles on stress relievers and blues busters...the one tried and true method for all over stress relief is a good dose of healthy and consensual sex! Don't let the holidays ruin your sex life ladies. Instead - have fun with it. Quick tips... 1. Have sex before a night of last minute holiday shopping! 2. Stay in, have sex, and then shop online for everything. 3. Park in front of a decorated house or local xmas tree - and smooch. 4. If your family starts arguing during dinner, take your partner in the guest room!

         
    How can better breathing banish stress

     

    One form of natural stress relief is meditation techniques, which often involves the use of specific breathing techniques. This stress relief technique helps calm the mind and create an overall sense of peace and relaxation. Meditation doesn’t need to have a spiritual or religious agenda. To be more precise, it is a natural treatment for stress and anxiety that is accomplished by getting the mind, body, and spirit in balance. To achieve this, a person using meditation as a form of natural stress relief should first find a quiet place. There are no strict rules regarding body positioning when meditating, but many people who use meditation as natural stress relief use the lotus position. Which is sitting with the legs crossed while keeping the back straight and the shoulders level. No matter what position chosen when using meditation for natural stress relief, it is best to keep the spine straight throughout the meditation process. This encourages circulation and makes it easier to breathe in the deep, slow fashion that is often necessary for meditation. After finding a quiet place to perform meditation, and after assuming a position that is comfortable, it is time to begin this process of natural stress relief. Some people prefer to remain quiet while meditating. Still others close their eyes and hum or make other repetitive noises to help clear their minds and to block out thoughts and outside noises. Many prefer to use specific breathing techniques and specific thoughts in order to reach a meditative and relaxed state. One method is to focus on each individual part of the body. Give your self permission to relax until your entire body is relaxed. At the same time, this method calls for taking a few deep breaths. After these initial breaths, subsequent breaths should be inhaled to the count of four, and then exhaled to the count of eight. There is no limit to the number of times meditation can be used. This natural stress relief technique can be used as often as necessary and for as long as needed because it does not have the negative side effects of medication. In fact, it is possible to gain relief from stress and anxiety with just a one-minute session of meditation, though 20-30 minutes of meditation is most common. Many studies have been performed on the use of meditation as a form of natural stress relief. These studies have shown that meditation does, indeed, lower the biochemical byproducts of stress. Meditation has also been proven to reduce blood pressure and heart rate, as well as increase favorable brain waves. This is unlike many stress-relieving medications, which may temporarily reduce feelings of stress, but can cause long-term harm to the body. Studies at the Mind-Body Medical Institute, which is affiliated with Harvard and several other Boston hospitals, has found that meditation causes several biochemical and physical changes associated with relaxation, including changes in heart rate, metabolism, blood pressure, respiration, and brain chemistry. With all of the positive research surrounding meditation and relaxation breathing techniques, it is easy to see why thousands of people use the techniques every day to relieve stress and improve living.

         
    How can we cope with stress

     

    Stress is a huge problem today and can result in serious illnesses if not managed properly. How can you cope with stress? One of the most important steps to take when trying to deal with stress is identifying the cause of your stress. Stress exists when certain problems, wether physical or psychological, keep the body on alert all the time. Often times just identifying the source of the stress can make the stress disappear. The rest of the article will focus on how to cope with stresses that you may face in life. Adapt To It Many people try earnestly to get away from what produces the stresses in life. They may end up moving away to try to escape the stressing conditions, such as working in a busy, noisy city. While that may help to reduce your stress levels, it is not always the most effective or needed thing to do. For example if you get really stressed sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, leaving a little earlier or later might help to reduce the stress of being stuck in traffic. By adapting to the this it will help you gain confidence that you are in control of your life, which is an important thing to help cope with stress. Raising children can often be very stressful for parents, especially when the children are out of control. What may be needed to decrease the stress from this source is to establish firm and consistent guidelines for the children to live by. After adapting guidelines for children many parents often feel a huge sigh of relief. What if noise is causing you too much stress in your life? If you are at your house you could close a door to reduce the noise coming from the other rooms in the house. If the source is external, perhaps closing the window and drapes will help to dampen the noise. Ear plugs can also be an effective form to drown out the noise. Make sure your surroundings are pleasant by making sure the area you are in is neat and clean, this often helps in relieving stress as well. While this may help to reduce the stress you are facing it will not likely eliminate the stress all together. But even if it helps just a tad, you will be better off. Talk It Out Bottling up your stress inside is not healthy for you. Think of how much more relieved you will feel if you get it off your chest by confiding in a friend who you love and trust. Your friend may be able to give you helpful advise. It is only natural for us to reflect our problems inward, but you wont be any less of a person if you discuss your troubles with a trusted friend. You may be able to benefit from the practical suggestions of a friend as well as bring yourself emotional relief. Exercise Regularly Regular physical exercise can be beneficial to help you burn all the extra sugars and fat in the bloodstream caused by stress. This will help counteract the effects of stress and help to restore your body to a balances state. If you don't particularly like exercising try finding something you are interested, perhaps a sport. If you don't like sports exercise anyway! If you do this you will feel better, especially if you make it a daily routine. Rather than taking the car to do your errands, if the place is close enough try taking a brisk walk. This might help you to "burn off stress." Finding Balance It is proper to find balance between work and recreation. While both have their place, too much of one or the other can cause stress in your life, so therefore it is very important to find a balance between these too. Many of us hate it, especially getting up in the morning. But work is not an evil plague out to get us. It is beneficial to be active and productive, and it helps that the fact earning a living allows us to place. When you are working be sure to regularly take a few moments to relieve the stress of work. Perhaps getting up and stretching or walking around the office, if permitted, can help relieve the tense feelings in your muscles, which will reduce the buildup of stress. Make sure that your life is not dominated by work. Many people do this and are very stressed out because of the place their job has taken in their life. Make sure you make time for relaxation as well. Perhaps you have a hobby that you enjoy that will divert your thinking away from your stresses. Sleep Is Vital Many people today stay up really late, perhaps enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend, or watching late night TV that they say helps them to unwind. But whatever claimed relaxation they are getting from that outweighs the deep sleep that they need to really help unwind. Sleep deficiency is a stress on the body and mind and makes stresses in life even more difficult to cope with. Sleep allows your body to repair itself. So if you are a stress victim try getting more sleep, and try going to sleep at the same time and form a habit out of it. Changing Your Viewpoint Often time our mental attitude is enough to make us stressed out. How do you view life and the problems that you are facing? If you are always so negative about things, it is only natural to assume that you will feel negative. Learn to evaluate the your life’s priorities. Perhaps you have a new social gathering to go to, or are having a baby. Whatever it may be take the time out to think about how you are going to cope with the stresses involved, and how important they really are to your life. An evaluation such as this will help you realize your priorities and the limitations you should live by which in turn will help you be a much happier person. Will It End? Stress today is unavoidable no matter how we live or how happy we are. There are just so many things that can cause stress. So you much learn to accept it, and cope with it when it does arise.

         
    How can you deal with your holiday stress

     

    When traveling with your family, it should be a wonderful spending time together. Sharing and caring with loved one sounds wonderful, but often there is an undercurrent of tension that can make this a difficult and dreaded time for some. Why does this happen, after all the holidays only come around once a year and we deal with family tension all year round. Families, who don't normally spend a lot of time together because of work/school commitments or because of location, are now spending all of several days together. People fall back into old patterns of behavior, old arguments still simmer and issues that have been avoided have a way of coming to the surface. Those involved can feel angry and unappreciated, which in turn cause more tension and so the cycle begins. Add to the mix a host who is exhausted from weeks of shopping, planning and decorating, teenagers who resent the invasion of their space and time, young children who just know how to capitalize on the fact that you have company and you have a recipe for disaster If you are hosting a family holiday event, you may find that the stress of trying to create the perfect holiday season for the family begins many weeks before the holiday actually arrives. Eliminating holiday tension and stress would require a lifestyle change that very few people really want to make. You can however make it more manageable. 1. Accept that the holidays will come and there is nothing you can do about it, be determined to be flexible and not sweat the small stuff. 2. Acknowledge that this is not an ideal world and that people don't change just because it is the holidays. Your in-laws may snipe at your decor and your cooking, your teenager will want to hang with friends than be stuck with family and everybody else will still be the same. In the grand scheme of things it does not matter, keep it in perspective, remember the "perfect holiday" is different for everyone. 3. Don't shop till you drop, instead make a list and stick to it. Holiday spending can easily get out of control and leave you with a financial headache for the New Year. Determine your budget and stick to it, be ruthless. 4. Don't let guilt or a misplaced sense of obligation force you into attending parties and activities you would rather not go to. Pick events you know you will enjoy and that means something to you and you will have a great time. 5. Consider your expectations of others during the holidays. When it comes to the family photo, family functions, holiday activities, do you expect your spouse and children to be shiny happy people for all such activities and events. Don't let a tense situation develop just because they are not behaving the way you think they should. Consider what they want to do and talk about it. In summary, you should be realistic, focus on the people you love, don't overspend, keep your sense of humor and you will keep your sanity. Life is short and time is precious, consider every holiday you spend with family and friends as a wonderful gift. Most important of all…Enjoy.

         
    How do stress balls work

     

    Stress is an inescapable fact our lives and can manifest itself regardless of one’s age, gender, or lifestyle. It affects our rational thinking capabilities and prevents us from enjoying our natural disposition, which is to be happy. There are many stress relieving techniques that have evolved over time; these include yoga, aerobics, and even comedy clubs. These techniques, although effective, have the drawback in that they are all time-consuming, require a schedule, and can be carried out only in certain places. An excellent alternative to these stress relieving techniques is the stress ball (or stress relief ball). These palm-sized balls come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are recommended as stress busters by various health organizations and fitness centers. They are made from high density foam, soft rubber, or squeezable polyurethane and squeezing these balls has many therapeutic benefits. Stress balls can be filled with gel and can be given different cheerful shapes such as colorful beans and animals. Their textures can be spiny, smooth, fuzzy, or rough. Since all materials used in the manufacture of stress balls are non-toxic, the stress balls are safe for use. Patients suffering from arthritis and nerve disorders can also benefit from stress balls. A few quick squeezes of a stress ball helps in improving blood circulation to the hands and are a great way of rejuvenating tired hands. Stress balls, if used at the end of a hard day’s work, have a calming effect, foster relaxation, and help in regaining energy lost during the course of a hectic day. A great plus with stress balls is that they have absolutely no side effects and can be used by individuals in any age group. Consistent use of this simple therapy can prevent stress related ailments from getting aggravated. Keeping this fact in mind, several health centers are incorporating stress balls in their stress treatment routines. It is not uncommon for stress balls to be distributed during meetings and seminars. Corporates are recognizing the value stress balls as effective stress-management tools. Stress balls are easily customizable; they can be manufactured according to different size specifications and can be imprinted with the user’s name. These attributes have contributed to the popularity of stress balls. Stress balls are also ideal gifts to be given during corporate seminars.

         
    How leaders cause stress

     

    For the leaders of organisation there are two levels at which workplace stress must be addressed. Firstly at corporate, strategic level, where a degree of stress is inevitable, given the pace and frequency of change that businesses of all kinds are experiencing today. Political, economic, environmental, social, and technological changes combine to make it essential that the organisation is equipped to respond to or, better, to forecast and prepare for change. The need to manage change successfully adds to the complexities and pressures facing the leaders of the organisation. Secondly, at the operational levels stress which affects the managers and operational staff can be caused by many factors, not least the behaviour of the operational managers themselves. However, the leaders of the organisation are responsible for the way in which the organisation responds to the threat of negative stress, at both strategic and operational levels. In fact, it is often the behaviour, the actions, the style of the leader(s) that causes the stress. Some of the most common areas in which the negative behaviour of the leader(s) can cause stress are described below. Successful leaders ensure that their organisations are appropriately resourced. The needs of the organisation’s strategic objectives are assessed and funds are allocated and activity planned to deliver the necessary resources as and when required. Human resources, physical resources, technological resources, funds, systems, should all be in place or planned for. A monitoring and control process should be in place to respond to the need for changes to the plans. If these processed are not followed, then wherever the plans reach a point where the necessary resources are missing, or incomplete, the stress levels of managers and their teams will rise, as they attempt to achieve the set objectives with inadequate resources. As in most situations where the actions of the leader(s) have lead to problems or difficulties, it is the operational level people who are the first to suffer. However, ultimately it is the organisation that is damaged, through the direct repercussions of the initial mistakes causing problems in areas such as sales or customer satisfaction, and then again from the problems caused by the increase in negative stress levels. In any organisation one of the most common sources of conflict, dispute, and ensuing personal distress, are the related issues of equality of opportunity, diversity, and discrimination. The leader(s) of the organisation must ensure that the culture of the organisation and the actions of individuals supports equality of opportunity and diversity and prevents discrimination of any kind. Effective leaders do this by: making equality, diversity, and prevention of discrimination an essential, high profile element of the organisation’s strategies and objectives; ensuring that all staff are familiar with the organisation’s policies in this area and that they understand their personal responsibilities in complying with the policy; ensuring that the organisational structure and processes are receptive to the different needs and abilities of a diverse workforce; implementing a rigorous monitoring and control process to identify and deal with any breaches of the policies; dealing ruthlessly with any employee, of any status, should they act in an unfair of discriminatory manner. Leaders who do not give strong, visible, leadership in these areas will be risking considerable damage being done. Without strong leadership there is a grave danger of discrimination and unfairness happening, not just at operational levels but also at the executive level. Managers behaving unfairly or in a discriminatory way, or not dealing with such behaviour in others, are the cause of considerable negative stress. The repercussions of these unacceptable actions can include personal distress, the break-up of teams, the collapse of projects, internal disciplinary action, industrial tribunals or civil court action, and leave a climate of hostility, blame, conflict, and unhappiness. The impact in terms of negative stress being generated is enormous. Effective leaders prevent such disastrous repercussions, by ensuring that promote, support, and insist on fairness and equality towards all. One of the key responsibilities of the leaders of organisations, indeed in some cases a legal requirement in itself, is to ensure that the organisation complies with relevant legislation and regulations. Effective leaders do this by: monitoring the legal and regulatory environment to identify where the organisation must comply; developing, implementing and maintaining effective policies and procedures to ensure that the organisation meets all legal and regulatory requirements; making certain that relevant people are aware of the policies and procedures and their responsibilities in maintaining them; implementing a monitoring, control, and corrective action system to maintain compliance; providing appropriate resources for operational managers to carry out the policies effectively. Leaders who do not take this responsibility seriously will create opportunities for inadvertent and deliberate non-compliance. The pressures caused by this flawed approach will be felt most by individual operational managers. It is these managers who will be faced with the repercussions of non-compliance, particularly in areas such as health and safety, recruitment and selection, accounting and finance, equal opportunities and discrimination. For these managers, and by default the operational staff, one of the results will be increased negative stress levels. The most visible role of the leader(s) is, by default, to lead the organisation into the future. This means planning and managing desired changes, whilst also responding to external forces of change. The manner in which the leader approaches this can influence the response to the changes by the organisation’s managers and employees, which in turn affects the levels of stress caused by the changes. Ways in which to lead change successfully are well documented. To lead change in a manner that will lead to negative stress being generated would need the leader(s) to: not communicate their vision of the future (or worse, not to have a vision); to actively of passively discourage consultation and participation in the change planning process; not give individuals clear information on their roles and responsibilities in implementing changes; denying individuals the influence and authority they need to successfully implement and manage change in their area; set objectives which are unachievable; make no effort to provide resources and support for the removal of barriers to change; not provide information on the progress of change activity; not to reward successful change implementation. The result of such negative behaviour would be to create delays, misunderstanding, tension, uncertainty, and conflicts, and would seriously damage the chances of the change being implemented successfully. The change process raise the negative stress levels of those implementing, or directly affected by the change. Unsuccessful change would inevitably have other negative impacts on the organisation, which in turn would potentially cause more stress. Effective leaders cultivate and develop a culture that is positive, ethical, and value driven, in order to support the organisation’s strategies. The personal actions and behaviour of the leader(s) and the management of the organisation should reinforce this. Agreed values are communicated across the organisation and people are encouraged to pursue these cultural objectives as rigorously as the operational objectives. The condition of the organisation’s culture is monitored and corrected as required to maintain the set values. Poor leaders do not view developing a positive culture as important, pursuing instead only the profit-related objectives. Under such leadership the organisation will deteriorate, and managers and staff will have no guidance as to how to behave professionally and ethically. One by product of this will be that unethical practices will flourish and levels of trust and openness will diminish. Conflict and disagreement will grow. In such a climate it is inevitable that an increase in negative stress will occur, as motivation and morale levels fall. The role of the leader is, of course, to lead, but to lead in a way which represents the values and mission of the organisation. In areas such as ethics, equality of opportunity, non-discrimination, fairness and openness, the leader(s) must also take on the mantle of acting as a role model for others in the organisation. Positive leaders will ensure that managers throughout the organisation are properly trained in management skills and undertake continuous development, that innovation and creativity is encouraged. Strong leaders will ensure that managers or staff who behave inappropriately in contradiction of the values of the organisation will be removed. Leaders who do not lead in these ways will confuse and dismay others in the organisation. Without strong, value driven leadership, the organisation is as a ship without a captain, drifting at sea, at the mercy of the winds and the tides. The chances of the organisation not running into difficulties will be slim. In such an organisation stress levels will rise and the ensuing damage will add to the organisation’s difficulties. It is clear that the leader(s) of organisations have enormous influence on the culture, the values, the behaviour, of individuals, teams, managers, and the corporate body itself. It is also the case that poor or inappropriate leadership behaviour will damage the organisation. Until now this has not been linked to the amount of negative stress that is generated within an organisation. But it is equally clear that poor, unfocused, unethical, or weak leadership will cause serious damage to the organisation, both directly in terms of the consequences of poor decision making, or indirectly due to the repercussions of increases in negative stress levels in individuals within the organisation. It is no longer sufficient to assess the success of a leader by evaluating visible success factors only. The effect on stress levels, caused by the style of leadership and the actions of the leader, should also be taken into consideration. The behaviour and actions of an effective leader will reduce stress levels and generate a positive, productive, healthy workplace. The behaviour and actions of a poor leader will do the opposite and increase negative stress levels and create an unhealthy and unproductive workplace. Those with responsibility for the success of the organisation must ensure that the leader is one that produces a positive, healthy, productive organisation. Without such a leader the organisation will fail to achieve its objectives, decline, and die.

         
    How middle managers create stress

     

    In essence, the reason that they create stress for others is that they do not manage well. For all those working in the operational, functional areas of the organisation, most of the workplace stress is created by the team leaders, supervisors, and middle managers. The ways in which managers create this stress are endless, but here are some of the most common ways. Being Inadequately Trained. The underlying reason why middle managers are stress-carriers is that they are not trained to be effective managers. Even though management training and development is universally agreed to be essential, more than 80% of those managing in today’s organisations have received no more than 5 days management training. It is tempting to believe that this statistic is biased because of the shortcomings of older managers, but this is not the case. The majority of younger managers have received no more. Little wonder that the majority of managers don’t know how to manage effectively. The result is that the manager behaves in ways which are inherently flawed and therefore highly likely to cause stress levels to rise in those affected by their actions. Implementing Operational Plans. The stress-carrying manager will: not be familiar with the corporate level strategies and objectives; implement local, operational plans without regard for the higher level objectives; not involve key individuals and teams in the planning process; not balance risks against desired outcomes; not build in an appropriate degree of flexibility into the plans; not ensure that individuals and teams are provided with the necessary training and resources; not monitor and adjust the plan on a regular basis. Will the plans be successful? No. Will stress levels rise? Yes. Encouraging Innovation. Good managers encourage creativity and innovation, by: promoting a culture of continuous improvement; motivating individuals and teams to identify improvements to existing processes; responding positively to ideas from teams and individuals; discussing ways in which improvements or new methods could be implemented; promoting agreed changes to senior management; make sure that the originators of the changes are given recognition. Poor managers don’t do these things. As a result, dissatisfaction and resentment is fostered, and individuals and teams feel worthless. Will stress levels rise? Yes. Managing Health and Safety Conditions. A major cause of workplace stress is the condition of the workplace in which people work. This can include issues such as temperature, safety levels, personal space, air quality, cleanliness, access to emergency exits, and so on. The conscientious manager, aware of the high priority that health and safety should be given, ensures that: they are aware of their personal responsibilities regarding health and safety in their areas of responsibility; the organisation’s health and safety policy is communicated clearly to all relevant employees; each individual is aware of and trained to carry out their individual health and safety responsibilities; systems are in place for identifying, reporting, and removing hazards; sufficient resources are allocated to the management of health and safety; an effective monitoring and review process is in place. When the manager does not take health and safety seriously, conditions deteriorate and become dangerous, the health of the employees will be damaged, and accidents occur. Stress levels will rise and, perversely, the risk of illness and accidents will rise in proportion, as individuals become less confident, more distracted, and potentially ill, due to the negative impact of the stress. Managing Operational Processes. The core activity for middle managers is to manage the operational processes, the business processes. The stress-carrying manager does this ineffectively by: not adjusting the processes so that they deliver the desired outcomes; not ensuring that necessary resources are allocated to each part of the process; not providing sufficient information to individuals and teams carrying out the activities; not defining responsibilities; not implementing a monitoring and control system; not taking appropriate corrective action when the process is failing. For the teams and individuals carrying out the operational activity, the result is lack of information, unclear objectives, unclear roles and responsibilities, conflict and frustration. As a direct result of these effects, stress levels will rise. Developing Positive Working Relationships. Effective managers will work hard and continuously to develop and maintain positive, productive relationships with their colleagues and with other stakeholders. This requires the manager to: identify colleagues and other stakeholders such as internal and external suppliers and customers; establish positive working relationships with relevant people; respect the knowledge, skills, roles, and responsibilities of other people; provide colleagues and stakeholders with the information that they need; consult colleagues and stakeholders to learn of their priorities and needs; behave ethically towards colleagues and stakeholders; monitor and review the condition of these relationships. Do stress-carrying managers behave in this way? No. Will their behaviour cause damage to these relationships? Yes. Managing Change. The amount and the pace of change is often blamed for the increase in negative stress levels in the workplace. This perception clouds the real issue, that of managers not being able to implement or respond to changes, effectively. Change can be managed in a way that minimises disruption, avoids conflict, reduces resistance, and leads to the change being welcomed, at least by most. There are, of course, some radical changes which cause distress to some individuals, such as when redundancies are necessary. Such changes and the impact they have are outside the control of the middle manager. However, the manager should be applying an approach to change that will, in most other circumstances, make change a relatively stress-free experience. This approach entails: assessing the impact of the proposed change and preparing for that impact; informing all individuals and teams of impending changes and the reasons for them; making clear the objectives of the change; ensuring that changes made at the local level take into account local circumstances, whenever possible; making certain that individuals are clear about their roles and responsibilities in respect of the change; providing support to people as they go through the change process; keep people informed about the progress being made; encouraging discussion and debate about potential and current changes. Managers who don’t adopt this approach will find that change is a battlefield, there will be resistance and conflict, or at best there will be an unenthusiastic response to the change. The objectives of the change will not be achieved. In the process stress levels will have risen and will be difficult to lower. Managing Personal Professional Development. Effective managers embrace the concept of continuous personal and professional development and practice it consistently and enthusiastically. They do this by: regularly forecasting the skills, knowledge, qualifications, they will need to continue to manage effectively and to progress in their careers; identifying ways to gain further knowledge, skills, qualifications; preparing and executing personal and professional development action plans; obtaining regular feedback on their performance from others; taking pride in their achievements in this area. Ineffective managers do none of these, or, at best, pay lip-service to organisational requirements by undertaking minimum or inappropriate development activity. They continue to be lacking in knowledge, unskilled in key areas of management, unaware of current best practices, and therefore continue to manage ineffectively. As a result, others continue to suffer from the stress caused by the manager’s actions. There is no doubt that most workplace stress is caused by the managers. Managers are there, literally, to manage. Managers are given the responsibility of ensuring that the workplace around them is safe, healthy, organised, resourced, and achieving the set objectives. In support of this, the manager must maintain and continuously improve the levels of motivation, morale, quality standards, performance, and capabilities of individuals and teams. Managers who are not capable of managing in this way will cause problems, confusion, dissent, disagreement, conflict, disappointment, frustration, anger, higher levels of sickness absence and staff turnover. This in turn means that they will continue to generate workplace stress, and the individuals and teams that they manage will continue to suffer from the negative effects of that stress. The message is clear. To reduce workplace negative stress levels, it is necessary to have managers in place who are trained in management and who manage thoughtfully and competently. Yes, there will be times when increased stress is inevitable, but these periods should only be generated by the peaks and troughs of the activity of the organisation, not by the actions of an individual manager. Until managers know how to manage effectively, stress management will remain high on the agenda. Individuals will spend more and more effort and energy on coping mechanisms. The cost to the organisation will be higher levels of turnover and absence, and the cost of poor performance. The real problem, the cause of the stress, will remain.

         
    How stress effects your body and brain and what to do about it

     

    Which of these is stress? • You receive a promotion at work. • Your car has a flat tire. • You go to a fun party that lasts till 6:00 a. m. • Your dog gets sick. • Your new bedroom set is being delivered. • Your best friend and his wife come to stay at your house for a week. • You get a bad case of hay fever. • All of the above. ALL OF THESE ARE STRESS. If you are used to thinking that stress is something that makes you worry, you have the wrong idea of stress. Stress is many different kinds of things: happy things, sad things, allergic things, and physical things. Many people carry enormous stress loads and they do not even realize it! What is Stress? We are all familiar with the word "stress". Stress is when you are worried about getting laid off your job, or worried about having enough money to pay your bills, or worried about your mother when the doctor says she may need an operation. In fact, to most of us, stress is synonymous with worry. If it is something that makes you worry, then it is stress. Your body, however, has a much broader definition of stress. To your body, stress is synonymous with change. Anything that causes a change in your life causes stress. It doesn't matter if it is a "good" change or a "bad" change, they are both stress. When you find your dream apartment and get ready to move, that is stress. If you break your leg, that is stress. Good or bad, if it is a change in your life, it is stress as far as your body is concerned. Even imagined change is stress. (Imagining changes is what we call "worrying".) If you fear that you will not have enough money to pay your rent, that is stress. If you worry that you may get fired, that is stress. If you think that you may receive a promotion at work, that is also stress (even though this would be a good change). Whether the event is good or bad, imagining changes in your life is stressful. So: Anything that causes change in your daily routine is stressful. Anything that causes change in your health is stressful. Imagined changes are just as stressful as real changes. Stress Affects Your Body and Brain Stress causes problems with with the chemicals in your brain. When life is smooth, your brain is able to produce enough “calming chemicals,” such as serotonin, to keep up with normal levels of stress, demands, and expectations. But when too much stress is placed on the brain, it begins to fall behind in its ability to cope. As the stress continues, some of the calming chemicals may begin to fail. Important nerve centers then become distressed. You enter a state of brain chemical imbalance known as -- Overstress. Overstress makes people feel terrible. With stress overwhelming the brain, a person feels "overwhelmed" by life. People complain of being tired, unable to fall asleep or to obtain a restful night's sleep. They have plagues of aches and pains, lack of energy, lack of enjoyment of life. They feel depressed, anxious, or just unable to cope with life. Stress Affects Your Looks From the above description, you can probably imagine that overstress can affect your looks. When you can’t sleep, you look tired. When you have aches and pains, you look (and feel) unhappy. When you have no energy, you can’t participate in life with your usual smile and sparkle. Stress can also cause skin rashes and stomach problems, which will also affect how you look. How to Combat Stress Breathing Breathing exercises are a wonderfully effective way to reduce stress, regulate mood, and feel energized. One way to promote deeper breathing and better health is by exhaling completely. Try it: take a deep breath, let it out effortlessly, and then squeeze out a little more. Doing this regularly will help build up the muscles between your ribs, and your exhalations will naturally become deeper and longer. Start by practicing this exhalation exercise consciously, and eventually it will become a healthy, unconscious habit. Exercise For many people, exercise is a main method of reducing stress and promoting relaxation. One of the benefits of regular aerobic exercise is its moderating effect on emotions, both long-term and short-term. If you feel angry or upset, a brisk walk or run or a half hour of lifting weights will often put you back in a good mood. While exercise is a great way to burn up excess energy and dissipate tension, it does not necessarily teach you how to process stress differently, and is best used as a complement to another technique, such as breathing, visualization or yoga, for instance. Yoga is an excellent promoter of relaxation as well as a good form of non-aerobic body conditioning. It perfectly complements aerobic exercise. Be Positive Did you know pessimism has been linked to a higher risk of dying before age 65? On the other hand, expressing positive emotions, such as optimism, is associated with a variety of health benefits: lowered production of the stress hormone cortisol, better immune function, and reduced risk of chronic diseases. Action Steps: If you are stressed-out or anxious, and tend to become negative when in this state of mind, try the following steps: • Take care of yourself by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and getting adequate sleep. • Express your emotional reactions honestly so you can effectively deal with what's bothering you. • Confide in someone - your mate, a good friend or a trusted relative. • View the cup as half full instead of half empty.

         
    How stress increases productivity

     

    Stress is an unavoidable consequence of life. As Hans Selye (who coined the term as it is currently used) noted, "Without stress, there would be no life". However, just as distress can cause disease, it seems plausible that there are good stresses that promote wellness. Stress is not always necessarily harmful. Winning a race or election can be just stressful as losing, or more so, but may trigger very different biological responses. Stress Increases Productivity Increased stress results in increased productivity, up to a point. However, this level differs for each of us. It's very much like the stress on a violin string. Not enough produces a dull, raspy sound. Too much tension makes a shrill, annoying noise or snaps the string. However, just the right degree can create a magnificent tone. Similarly, we all need to find the proper level of stress that allows us to perform optimally and make melodious music as we go through life. Fight-or-Flight Some of the early work on stress established the existence of the well-known fight-or-flight response. Researches showed that when an animal experiences a shock or perceives a threat, it quickly releases hormones that help it to survive. These hormones help us to run faster and fight harder. They increase heart rate and blood pressure, delivering more oxygen and blood sugar to power important muscles. They increase sweating in an effort to cool these muscles, and help them stay efficient. They divert blood away from the skin to the core of our bodies, reducing blood loss if we are damaged. And as well as this, these hormones focus our attention on the threat, to the exclusion of everything else. All of this significantly improves our ability to survive life-threatening events. This is Stress. Unfortunately, this mobilization of the body for survival also has negative consequences. In this state, we are excitable, anxious, jumpy and irritable. This reduces our ability to work effectively with other people. How Can I Tell What is Optimal Stress for Me? There is no single level of stress that is optimal for all people. We are all individual creatures with unique requirements. As such, what is distressing to one may be a joy to another. And even when we agree that a particular event is distressing, we are likely to differ in our physiological and psychological responses to it. It has been found that most illness is related to unrelieved stress. If you are experiencing stress symptoms, you have gone beyond your optimal stress level; you need to reduce the stress in your life and/or improve your ability to manage it. Stress Ball Many organizations are now giving out free stress balls to their employees. Stress balls has been proven to relieve stress! Find out more about stress balls.

         
    How teens cope with stress

     

    Being a teenager can involve a lot of juggling. Trying to manage demands at school, home and from friends can seem stressful-even overwhelming at times. To help teens handle stress and stay focused, parents should encourage their teens to budget their time, eat and sleep well, exercise, and ask for help when they need it. The recent winners of the Young Epidemiology Scholars (YES) Competition, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the College Board, explored both positive and negative ways of responding to stress. Natalia Nazarewicz of Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Aman Prasad of Pocatello, Idaho, conducted the two studies. Nazarewicz surveyed more than 1,000 high school students in the Oak Ridge area on the practice of deliberate self-harm, such as cutting or burning their skin. She found that 26 percent of the students reported they had deliberately hurt themselves at least once. The survey showed the selfharm was often a response to stress and that twice as many girls as boys had resorted to such actions. "I talked with some high-school guidance counselors and student advisors after completing my study and they were shocked by the scope of the problem," said Nazarewicz. For his project, Prasad conducted a survey that he said suggests that physical activity may help teens mitigate the negative effects of minor mood disorders. He surveyed 800 ninth and tenthgrade students from three schools about how much physical activity they engaged in each week and measured the students' mood by asking each person to assess how optimistic and how aggressive he or she felt. On average, he found that students who exercised at a rate of three or more days a week reported being in a better mood than students who did not exercise.

         
    How to stress relief easily

     

    Steam bathing provides a cardiovascular workout without stress or strain on your joints. You heart rate will speed up 50-75% in a 20-minute steam bath. This goes a long way to speeding up your metabolism, thus helping you burn fat. It is about the same as going for a long walk. Some people are under the conception that steam baths raise your blood pressure. While this is true, it also expands your blood vessels to compensate. Stress Relief In today's fast-paced world, we are rarely able to take time for ourselves, to relax, and just let our bodies rest. It has been proven time and time again that stress plays a huge role in our physical health and metal well-being. A sauna session is a great way to kick back with a good book or your favorite music and just relax. Sweating Sweating is as essential to our health as eating and breathing. It accomplishes three important things: rids the body of wastes, regulates the critical temperature of the body at 37 degrees C (98.6 degrees F), and helps keep the skin clean and pliant. Many people, in this sedentary sauna benefit, sauna health benefit, hot sauna, dry sauna, buy a sauna, build a sauna, sauna, infrared sauna, home sauna, arizona sauna age, simply don't sweat enough, making sweat bathing particularly desirable during these times. Antiperspirants, artificial environments, smog, synthetic clothing, and a physically idle lifestyle all conspire to clog skin pores and inhibit the healthy flow of sweat. These detrimental effects are reversed in a sweat bath. A Finnish doctor wrote: "The best-dressed of foreigners can come into a doctor's office, and when his skin is examined, it is found to be rough as bark. On the other hand, as a result of the sauna, the skin of any Finnish worker is supple and healthy." Properly cared for skin is better able to resist eczema, athlete's foot, pimples and blackheads. Furthermore, combining sweat bathing and brushing with a loofa or rough brush removes flakes of dried skin cells that accumulate on the epidermis. If allowed to remain, they can clog sweat pores and oil passages and result in dry, flaky skin. Blood Pressure One Finnish study observed that whereas blood pressure of healthy persons remains approximately normal in a sweat bath, there occurs a marked reduction of pressure in persons suffering from high blood pressure. However, this effect is only transient, and the original condition returns soon after the sweat bath.

         
    How to achieve stress relief

     

    Stress relief is something that remains allusive to many people. If you’ve ever come home from work and felt like you just couldn’t unwind or been unable to sleep because you just couldn’t stop worrying about something going on the next day, you’re in need of major Stress relief! The problem is that many people don’t talk about stress or really consider it a problem that needs addressing. Whether your stress is caused by work, school, relationships, world events, finances or anything else, it needs attention now before it begins to show its face in the form of physical ailments later. Achieving stress relief is easy - if you know the right techniques to reduce your stress levels. The first major rule of stress is to never ignore it. You can’t just pretend that the constant nervous feeling in your stomach is going to go away or expect your high blood pressure to go down on its own. You have to teach yourself the best stress relief methods possible to get your symptoms under control. An easy stress relief method that anyone can do, at home or at work, is meditation. The great thing about meditation is that there are many different ways to do it and it’s just a matter of figuring out what works best for you. Some people meditate using visualization, others chant an affirmation over and over again in their mind and some use breathing techniques. No matter what meditation method you use for your stress relief, make sure you find a quiet spot to practice in. Close the door to your office or find an isolated part of your home to be alone with your thoughts. Then, use meditation to push out all the negative, stress inducing feelings you’ve been having and help clear your mind. Listening to soothing noises is a Stress relief method that you can use to relax yourself before you go to bed or to calm yourself down after a particularly stressful day or experience. Purchase an alarm clock with tranquil sounds on it - i. e., a recording of rain, waves, birds or soft music works well. You can also purchase CD’s like this that have a variety of soothing sounds on them. This is not the time to think about your problems. Instead, focus on enjoying the moment and relaxing your body and mind. You’ll find that when you are done with this stress relief method, your body will feel less tense and your mind will be clear. Deep breathing is another stress management method that works well in any situation. If you’ve had a fight, feel worried about something or are stressed about a problem, try taking deep breaths. Become aware of how you are breathing in and out and make sure to deeply exhale as well. Try holding your breath for five counts and then release it. This stress relief method will help to slow your heart rate back down and keep your feelings collected.

         
    How to change just about anything in your life the easy way

     

    "How To Change Things The Easy Way" Firstly, I’d like to say that I really appreciate the opportunity that you’ve given me to be your coach. There's a couple of things that I’d like to run through before we get started. You really need to be open minded to get the best out of this program, it’s like the old saying, the mind is like a parachute, it only works when it’s open. One of the most important things you need to be aware of is “Social Hypnosis”, we get hypnotised by the beliefs of all the people that we surround ourselves with and we really need to put those aside while we are reading this, to gain an understanding of some things from a different perspective. This will allow you to weigh it up and decide what you want to do with it. I know, just because you’re reading this right now, you are one of the few who act, as opposed to many who just talk and wish for things to be easier. So let’s now cover some ideas on how to create success in any area of our life, and yes that’s right I am talking to you! We’re going to go through a model for change. The question I have for you is do you experience emotions that you would prefer to experience less? What would those emotions be called? Some would be called anger or maybe frustration or fear and so on. What I’m about to reveal is a model for change; it is not "THE" model for change it is "A" model for change. There are many ideas out there but this is one that I have used for over a decade and it’s made a significant difference to me and the many thousands of others I have shared this with. If the way you try to change thins in your life isn’t working as well as you’d like, then give this one a shot. Outcome/Results/Emotion ^ ^ ^ Action/Behaviour ^ ^ ^ Attitude/Belief ^ ^ ^ Input For the purpose of this exercise, I’m suggesting that we assume the emotion is the end result, I realise that our emotion or how we feel has a huge influence over how things turn out or the results you get, so if you buy into this model it then means we have the opportunity to change the emotion. Then buy changing the emotion we will get different results. Let’s quickly walk through this model. This model is saying if you want your results to improve how you feel needs to needs to change. For example if you are a sales person and you are always pessimistic and down in the dumps you are not going to sell a whole lot. Enthusiasm is the ticket for making sales and if you follow this model you will have an abundance of it. Or perhaps there have been times in your life when being calm would have gotten a great outcome in a certain situation but at the time “calm” wasn’t even on the radar! This model says that how you behave, or in other words how you move your body (body language) determines how you feel. If you don’t believe me stop what you are doing right now and leap up and put the biggest, craziest smile you have ever done on your face. Now I bet you feel different doing this than you did just reading the previous sentence. You may feel silly or embarrassed right now (That is of course if you did it and didn't just sit there like most people would) or perhaps you feel like laughing, but you DO feel different. Because the way you use your body changes your emotions and in this model that body movement or body language is being labeled behaviour. We will unpack other ways to use this model in future articles but for now I challenge you to start to manage your emotions with your body language, have a ton of fun with it and share it with your friends. Till next time, remember you only have your bad habits to lose so, GO FOR IT!! All good things, Mick Hawes THE HEAD COACH getyourheadintogear

         
     
         
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