My father used to have a coffee cup that read–and you see I have paraphrased 🙂 : “STRESS is the condition resulting when the mind overrides the body’s overwhemling deisre to choke the living crap out of some poopoo head who desperately needs it”
Yes, this is the most common definition of stress. Let’s take a look at the problem.
75-90% of visits to primary care physicians are due to stress related problems
85% of adults report “high levels of stress” more than 2 times per week
Stress levels have risen dramatically in children and the elderly
1 million employees are absent on any give day due to stress related problems, according to the National Safety Council.
Job stress costs American industry $200-$300 Billion dollars each year.
60%-80% of on-the-job accidents are stress related.
Stress does not only include anxiety and mental stress, but also physical stress due to poor working conditions, shift work, excessively long shifts and inadequate time-off. Mental sources of stress include the obvious job stressors, but also “secondary stressors” caused by work at home. For example, my husband is a cop. His department often will transfer him to a different shift or change the times of his shift with little notice and for no apparent reason. Since both of our children are young, and I really like structure, this causes a lot of chaos and stress. Childcare becomes a crisis and our routines get disrupted which impacts our sleep, our interactions and our attitudes.
So what do we do about it?
Prioritize. Figure out what is really important. There are not enough hours in a day. What absolutely has to be done. What can wait?
Ask yourself, will this really matter 6 months from now?
Figure out what things you have control over and change those. For all the rest of the stuff, let it go. There is nothing you can do about it and getting all worked up just takes years off your life.
Get plenty of rest. When you are tired, molehills seem like mountains.
Avoid too much sugar or caffeine.