Recognise and Change

Transcript of the Feature ‘Health Matters’ on Radio X  from 03 March 2014

I’m Tom Meyers, Stress Coach and welcome to another episode of Health Matters.

Last week I talked about how important it is to have down-time after working hours and that some big companies are taking action as the cost of sickness due to work-stress is getting out of proportion.

Not surprising as work-related stress is now being considered one of the biggest health challenges in Europe. In Belgium it is estimated that 2 out of 3 employees are affected by it.

The impact of stress on your health, wellbeing and the economy can’t be left ignored anymore with personal suffering, increased sick days and social and economic consequences being very real and present.

However and as I mentioned before it is amazing how little effort it really takes to make the difference. Increased stress level awareness followed by small adaptations to lower the stress response can make the difference between being ailed by stress or living and working with ease.

How to recognise that stress has got you in its grip is an important factor to changing the tide. So lets have a look.

Physical signs: Neck, shoulder or back pain, tension headaches, digestive problems,…

Emotional signs: Negative thoughts, loss of motivation and mood swings.

Mental signs: Confusion, difficulty to concentrate, memory loss

Behavioural changes: Seep disturbance, increased smoking, drinking or medication intake.

Specific work-related stress signs are deteriorating relationships among colleagues, increased staff turnover and numbers of employees being absent due to sickness.

Once you recognize that you’re stressed acknowledge it and respond ,don’t let it drag on.

Here are some tips to help yourself.

Seek professional help when you feel you’re not in control anymore.

Take care of your physical and emotional health by learning and implementing daily health promoting behavior. Don’t postpone taking care of your health till it gets calmer at work or at home. That day might never come when you haven’t got your stress levels under control in the first place.

Take regular breaks and don’t feel guilty about it. To perform well, regular pauses to clear your mind is not a waste of time as it will make you more and not less productive.

Don’t over-commit yourself.

When work or your workload gets out of hand talk it over with a colleague. Sharing or connecting with others has proven to be a great way to reduce the pressure.

Make sure you take enough time to unwind when the work day is over or at the weekend. Have a look at your diary is there still room for you?

With ever changing demands, more to do and less time to do it in…. reflection on how to stay healthy and health promoting behavior isn’t a luxury and must be seen as a personal and social priority.

On tommeyers.be you can download a free copy of ‘Reaset: The return of Ease’ with information, exercises and free audio to breathe your stress away and help you to drift into ease.

I’m Tom meyers, Osteopath DO, Stress Coach for Body and Mind, Public Speaker and contributor of thought to a healthier way of living and working.

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