Occupational Stress

Statistics tell us that more people have migraine headaches on Sunday night and that the rate of heart attacks and heart attack-like symptoms are very high in the early hours of Mondays.. What does this tell us? Perhaps that people are dreading going to their job on Monday? Maybe. But there are other reasons for this as well. Two decades ago we saw changes happen in the workplace that we didn't anticipate. The trendy term used was downsizing. Less people to do the same amount of work. Executives lost their jobs daily. New types of employment finding agencies sprung up that specialized in higher level management job finding. There was confusion in the workplace and people began to feel uncertain about their jobs. Articles started to appear that indicated we will all have more than one job in our lifetime ? there would be no more job security ? even for those who were University educated.

Stress in the workplace has increased over the past couple of decades. Occupational Stress can be one of the most debilitating types of stress there is. Overworked Managers no longer have the time to acknowledge their employees in positive ways. Disrespect and rudeness are two of the big attitudinal problems in some businesses. There is a loss of connectedness with the workers. People feel isolated and unsupported in their work. Add to this the addition of the part time marginalized worker. Must be on call at the whim of the employer, only allowed to turn down so many shifts, no benefits and frequently lower wages. This means that these people do not know how much money they will have coming in each month ? they try to take on another part time job ? but the same thing holds true. Must be on call, only allowed to turn down so many shifts, etc.. You see the problem. It's an insecure way to live at best. This creates the stress of never being able to plan for anything. An acquaintance tells me she keeps her cell phone at arms reach when she is in the shower.

According to the Tenth Annual Attitudes in the American Workplace Poll done by Harris Interactive, workplace stress is definitely up. Some of their results would support this. 63% say that the job pressures interfere with their family or personal life and 60% say that the job is negatively affecting their physical and emotional well-being. Stress Management is a big problem: 52% say that they think that people in their workplaces need help in managing anger and stress, yet 55% say their company offers no training on how to manage anger or stress. 35% say they feel their co-workers are harder to get along with due to stress.

Granted this poll was done in the United States, but the same results could be obtained here. So, what can we do to help combat the stress in our own office. We can acknowledge one another and leave anonymous notes that are positive in content. "Thank you for being you ? you brighten my day", "You were really helpful ? thanks!" Or we could introduce some silliness and put some fun items on our desk. I have an Eeyore stuffy that talks and he never fails to elicit smiles and laughter. When I've had a frustrating day, Eeyore and I have a talk. Join a laughter club ande release those endorphins, serotonins and boost your immune system at the same time. If a laughter club isn't your thing, rent funny videos for home OR work. Create a joke book, or a humour box. Buy balloons and leave them anonymously on someone's desk. Put up funny or positive motivational quotes.

Many companies use fun as a motivator and mood stabilizer for their employees. Westjet Airlines is known for this and I am told that their employees just love going to work. The company holds parties for their employees and show their appreciation in many ways. Companies who make it fun to go to work get more out of their employees than those who don't.

If we could learn to treat each other with respect and appreciation at work, mix in a little fun, smile and thank each other, it just might help to ease the stress of our workdays. It would be the beginning of something good.

------------------------------------------------

Carole Fawcett lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in B.C. She is a Stress Management consultant and Laughter Therapist. She can be found at http://www.afunnybusiness.ca

In The News:

Stress Management  Penn: Office of University Communications
A check on blood pressure  Harvard Health
Stress management tips for anxious attorneys  North Carolina Lawyers Weekly
Natural Resource Report  Oregon Natural Resources Report
Inside Standish: Oct. 18  Press Herald
businessrecord.com  Business Record
Tiara Rubio, 34  Business Observer

The Scoop on Stress and Exercise

Stress is defined as a response by your body to... Read More

Stress Management: 5 Questions to Get Crisis to Work for You

Q: Someone told me that the Chinese symbol for crisis... Read More

Ease Your Stress ? Change Your Life!

Feeling stressed? Who isn't!! In today's society, feeling "stressed out,"... Read More

Self Indulgence: It Isn?t Just About Chocolate

It's no secret that we women, by virtue of our... Read More

Stress Control: Tough Leadership vs. Easy Does It

Tough leaders are usually seen as ogres. Their exacting demands... Read More

Stress Management: Problem Land or Solution Land

In my experience, most of us spend a lot more... Read More

10 Ways to Monitor Corporate Stress Levels

10 Ways to Monitor Corporate Stress LevelsGood military leaders work... Read More

Understanding Your Stress Levels

In order to understand stress better, it is a good... Read More

How Stressed Out Are You? Take This Quiz And See How You Rate On Your Stress Level!

Stress, America's #1 health problem, is a leading cause of... Read More

Planning Stress Management

Deadlines at work, demanding bosses, bills to be paid at... Read More

Conquer Stress and Anxiety Naturally With This Safe and Effective Method

Rhodiola Rosea is the latest natural remedy to join the... Read More

Coping with Change: Develop Your Personal Strategy

Why do we resist change? As the saying goes, the... Read More

8 Practical Methods to Remain Empowered During Stressful Times

1. Acknowledge that requesting support, guidance and partnership is not... Read More

Managing Stress

Do you ever feel stressed? Is stress a regular component... Read More

Stress May Cost Businesses Millions, But the Costs to the Sufferer are Far Worse

Governements and businesses have regularly highlighted the costs of stress... Read More

Manage Stress By Focusing On Solutions And By Having A Laugh

Marshal John Kruger acted by Arnold Schwarzenegger (who else) in... Read More

Stress Management: How to Avoid the Ruts and Holes of Life

Have you ever noticed how we keep falling into the... Read More

The Art of Worrying

I am worried. I have been biting my nails for... Read More

Anger Management: Is It Finally Time To Forgive?

In order to free ourselves from the pain of anger... Read More

Common SENSS Stress Control

Statistics show that all of us experience stress at one... Read More

Seven Steps to Reducing Stress and Reclaiming Your Life at Work

According to the StressPulse survey by ComPsych Corporation completed at... Read More

Stress Management

Have you ever said the words, "This job/my life is... Read More

Managing Your Every Day Stresses And Anxieties

Looking for all of the answers in how to manage... Read More

Do You Have Your Foot On The Pedal? Are You Overwhelmed At Work?

Is your in-tray or inbox full? I don't normally check... Read More

Stress Managment and Mastery: Too Much to Do Stress - Write it Down, Break it Down, Knock it Down

"I've got too much to do, I've just got too... Read More