Stress factor – physiology and how to stop resisting reality in order to change it!
Feeling stressed? How does stress feel to you?
Often, when we talk about stress at work, we talk about the problem. ‘I can’t talk, I’ve got a deadline and I’m stressed.’ or ‘I’m stressed out, he/she is totally unreasonable.’ ‘It’s really stressful working in these conditions with everyone interrupting me.’ ‘I can’t read this because I’m stressed and I keep reading the same page over and over again.’ ‘I don’t know where to start, it’s all too much.’ These statements are typical of comments made by thousands of people across every sector every day.
Either we are being made to do something we don’t want to do, or we are fearful of the consequences, or we don’t feel ready for something, or we simply think this is not how it should be.
Many of us perceive stress to be a bad thing, when actually, it is just our bodies, our physiology, making us aware that something needs our attention.
Imagine your electricity circuit at home. One day, you have several appliances on the go, and suddenly they all go off. So you investigate and you discover that the lights are functioning and the boiler is on, but for some reason the ring that all the appliances plug into is off.
All this means is there is something plugged into your electrical circuit that requires your attention. So, with a bit of trial and error, you establish that each time you turn on the kettle, the circuit trips, indicating the need to replace the kettle.
This is how stress works. It is your own personal, physiological trip switch.
However, modern society has developed in such a way that many of us have learnt to ignore that first physiological indicator, and sometimes we will power on through, overriding the warning signals again and again, on and on until we have total circuit breakdown. And that is when we start to need time off work.
There are other examples where we ignore our body signals too:
- Food – often brought up to eat everything on our plate, overrides our FULL switch, so we no longer realise when we have eaten sufficient
- Alcohol – ignore our body indicating that it is affected by alcohol, until we no longer know when to stop.
- Sugar/caffeine – shops serve sweet snacks and drinks by the bucket, a huge overload to our system, but because we have pressed the override button so often, we can no longer pick up the signals from our body
- Exercise – our body tells us that it is tired and lethargic, and we mistake this for depression and head to the doctor, rather than reading it as a need for regular exercise
Our bodies talk to us all the time and when they do, we need to start listening.
Stress is not a bad thing. It is our body’s way to bring attention to something it needs. It only becomes ‘bad’ when we ignore it.
So next time, you feel stressed, try embracing that feeling instead of resisting it. This is the first and best step to resolving it before it gathers speed.
To find out more about how to save time and money by focusing on trust rather than blame, read the other associated articles in this blog, call Lucy Windsor on 01932 888885, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.