Soothing Stress

Workplace Stress Management Training: Stress relievers that might help you

Suppose you lost your car keys this week. That might be bad enough, but suppose you were also in the middle of a nasty divorce situation, you had a daughter who was habitually sloughing school, and you were faced with losing your best customer because deliveries were constantly behind schedule. To overcome this one needs workplace stress management training.

All of us cope with stress periodically, but scientists are warning us that chronic stress has some devastating health effects.  One of the most common is depression.  While the medical evidence suggests that depression is an imbalance in the brain’s biochemistry (meaning that depression is “as biologically grounded as diabetes” or cancer), scientists have yet to come up with a method of treatment that is always effective.  In the meantime, lowering the level of stress hormones in our bodies seems to be one of the best methods for preventing and treating the disease.

Here are some suggestions for stress-relievers that might help you:

  • Try yoga or massage.
  • Stop and do nothing—give yourself thirty minutes to simply sit and think.
  • In his recent book, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Stanford neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky suggests that a zebra’s don’t get ulcers because they don’t sit on the sofa and fret when hyenas come close.  Try taking a brisk walk or jog to ease tension.
  • Talk it over with someone.  Even writing your concerns down in a journal or notebook may help.
  • Give yourself permission to take an hour a day to do something you really enjoy.  It might be something relaxing like taking a hot bath, but it may simply mean sitting down to organize that desk drawer that’s driving you crazy.

Stress Test:
Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is this really important to me?
  2. Would a reasonable person be this upset?
  3. Is there anything I can do to fix the situation?
  4. Would it be worth it to fix the situation?

If you can answer yes to all four, give yourself license to act.  If you answered no to even one, you may be better off to distract yourself and focus your energies in another direction.
    -Redford Williams, Duke University

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