Are you Managing Your Stress or is Your Stress Managing You?

Everyone has Stress in their lives and while there is no universal definition of Stress. Put simply, Stress is the way that your body physically responds to mental or emotional pressure. Your job, relationships, family life, money and other commitments can all contribute to your levels of Stress.

The challenge isn’t removing instances of stress (that would be impossible!), it’s recognising when there is too much pressure and what we do to address it in ourselves and our teams.

I like to say people can be either problem solvers or problem multipliers. I once had a manager who would always up the pressure, when she had a run in with her boss; it was as if her way of dealing with stress, was to stress everyone she came across! It wasn’t an endearing quality in a manager, so soon grievances and sick notes became a common occurrence!

The most important thing you can do for yourself and your team, is to keep the lines of communication open and think out of the box when it comes to how you can support your team at times of stress.

Signs to look for in yourself and your team include:

  • Negative or depressive feeling
  • Disappointment with yourself
  • Increased emotional reactions - more tearful or sensitive or aggressive
  • Loneliness, withdrawn
  • Loss of motivation commitment and confidence
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion, indecision
  • Can’t concentrate
  • Poor memory
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Increased smoking, drinking or drug taking 'to cope'
  • Mood swings effecting your behaviour
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Twitchy, nervous behaviour
  • Changes in attendance such as arriving later or taking more time off.

Techniques of stress management include:

  • Developing an understanding of Stressor's
  • Time management (including delegation)
  • Conflict resolution
  • Adopting a more Positive attitude
  • Talking to others
  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Altering your diet
  • Taking more regular and effective rest

You can get more information on stress management, from The Health and Safety Executive here

The Vlog on this subject can be found here.