Module 2: Lesson 1
Basics Of Stress Management (10 min)
> Managing stress requires on-going and dedicated focus
We’re emphasizing ‘management’ here not ‘elimination.’
It’s unrealistic to eliminate stressors that are out of our control. The goal here isn’t to eliminate all stress, but to eliminate as much unnecessary stress as possible and effectively manage the rest.
When we can better manage our internal and external stressors, as well as our responses to them, our mental and physical health will improve by leaps and bounds.
We’ll become superheros at defending and maintaining our sanity and well-being.
The following is just a short list of all the good stuff that happens when we take control of stress:
🙂 Lowers blood pressure
🙂 Brings back more joy and happiness
🙂 Reduces risk of heart disease and stroke
🙂 Increases sex drive
🙂 Boosts immune system
🙂 Improves self-confidence
🙂 Strengthens logic and memory
🙂 Improves personal and work relationships
🙂 Minimizes bodily aches and pains
🙂 Sharpens focus and attention
🙂 Lifts overall quality of life
Plus much, much more!!! (infomercial voice 🙂 )
You don’t have to review all the research that shows how happy, healthy, low-stress folks are much better off in life. It's just common sense and logical.
When we feel good, life is good.
But how do we get there?
It all starts with managing stress.
We’ve created a simple stress management formula.
METHOD + MINDSET + MAINTENANCE = EUSTRESS
We'll get more into this formula in the next lesson. So, don't worry.
Just know that inside this formula, we’ve gathered the most notable and frequently mentioned methods and solutions to managing work stress. Experiment with each of the methods, find the ones that work for you and then follow it using the formula.
Doing all of this is not a passive activity.
It requires real commitment, determination and focus on your part to make it work.
Now, does this mean that you need to go all-out? Nope.
What it means is that for this to work, you need dedicated effort on making small, positive and permanent changes in your lifestyle and behavior. Every positive change and improvement will build toward larger and long-term benefits.
Start small and get the momentum going.
Managing Work Stress
For many of us here, our jobs are one of the biggest sources of stress. There are good days and bad days. Then, there are really bad days. The kind where it feels like the world is beating you down relentlessly. Those kind of days are awful.
Stress has always been around, going all the way back to the archaeological eras like the stone age and earlier. However, as our world developed, so did our stressors. With each major leap in humanity’s progress, new stressors emerged that didn’t exist before.
Big mental work stress really started as the industrial revolution began in the late 1700’s.
Imagine the textile factory worker pulling their hair out in frustration, “What the hell is wrong with my looming machine?! It keeps ripping up and jamming the fabric! This thing is a one ton piece of shit.”
Then, the digital revolution began in the 1960’s and marked the start of the information age. The big leap was the commercialization of the internet in the early 1990’s. This lead to the exponential growth of all things digital, connected and information related. It launched modern society to entirely new levels across all aspects and industries from manufacturing, service, retail, white-collar, blue-collar etc.
With this crazy growth, our world created all sorts of new stressors. Now, we have new workday battles, “Why does this printer keep jamming the paper? What the hell is this error code? This thing is a piece of shit.”
As our society and civilization advances, so do our stressors.
The problem is that our minds and bodies haven’t evolved to that same pace to keep up and defend itself. Today, we’ve got more work stressors bombarding us than ever before. And, it’s not going to get any better.
In this 2016 Harvard survey, almost half of all American workers (44 percent) feel that our jobs are screwing up our health. Plus, about the same amount also feel that our employers aren’t doing jack shit to reduce workplace stress.
This is surprising because it’s costing US employers $30 billion (yes, that’s with a ‘B’) annually in lost productivity due to work related stress. You’d think they’d want to do something about it.
The video below is a snippet from the Harvard School of Public Health about stress in the workplace and it's impact on employees and companies.
VIDEO: Mental Health In The Workplace
YOUTUBE CHANNEL: Harvard School of Public Health
For those workers in EU region, the story is not that much different.
A recent poll by European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, shows that half of European workers (51 percent) state that work related stress is common. And just under half (41 percent), state that their employers don’t give a shit about workplace stress.
All of this results in over €90 billion in missed work days alone due to stress. It doesn’t count the follow on health costs etc.
Similar statistics and data can be seen across much of Asia as well.
A few multinational companies and some forward-thinking startups do take proactive steps in helping their employees manage workplace stress. If you’re part of those groups, we envy you - a lot. However, for the vast majority of companies, it’s more like, “Here’s your health insurance, vacation and sick days. Now, get to work.”
The main point is that workplace stress isn’t going away anytime soon and that we can’t rely solely on our employers to help us with managing it.
It’s on us to take action.
Nobody is going to do this for us.
We’ve got to do it ourselves.