How undealt-with stress affects our health and well-being at the workplace

iibp-admin Anveshan, Issue 3

How heavy is your glass of water? Beast of burden

Let me start with a few questions today; Do you by any chance have neck or shoulder pain? Maybe stiffness in your body? Maybe you wake up tired? Or maybe you have restless sleep? Or maybe you have difficulty falling asleep? Maybe a headache that comes and goes? Or need to drink that extra cup of tea or coffee?…

I can go on and on … if none of these apply, I must say well done…, however, if even one made you think… well my friend, it’s time to put down that glass of water you have been holding, time to drink it or chuck it or drain it or simply put it down … make your decision to rest and relax.

We all know that a glass of water, perhaps weights say 550gms or 600gm, something that even a child can easily lift, isn’t it? However, my question today is, how long can you keep holding it, and more importantly what happens when you hold it for over an hour or 2 hours?

You get the point… it’s about how long we hold on to something, that it becomes stressful… Yes … I said it…Stress, the most known and yet neglected aspect of life.

It’s normal to have stress and honestly research tells us, at least some amount of stress is what makes us competitive, otherwise we can be lame and disinterested demotivated, bored (it’s called the Yerkes Dodson performance curve). Healthy stressors are required for us to get out of the comfort zone. However, if we stay in it for too long, it decreases our performance.

Now we know, in this dynamic, competitive professional world, lower productivity will just not do…

Stress impacts our cognitive skills which are essential for problem-solving and decision making and our success, ultimately. Not to mention, absenteeism, attrition, decreased interpersonal skills, lower attention and patience, it’s almost an endless list…

So, time to put down the glass …right???

I think we can do some small things daily, that can support our mental and emotional wellbeing at the workplace, like in ancient times, almost all high placed ministers, worriers, kings, and queens practiced conscious living by mediation or religious or spiritual activities, or indulging in hobbies that gave their mental balance, focus and much-needed respite from the Cortisol release. (They did live in mortal danger of attacks etc.) .

Let me give you a few things to get started …

·Design your workplace; add little pleasant things, pictures, plants colour to help soothe the nerves from time to time.

·Take breaks, every 25 minutes take a break of 5 minutes, even when working remotely. Walk a bit, stretch, shrug your shoulders, have a glass of water, talk to someone…

·Develop empowered healthy responses… what it means is prioritize your priorities and basis that respond to requests or interruptions. Not everything needs your time and learning to stand up to what is important for your development and relaxation is healthy

·Delegate… let others contribute and grow and give you that needed downtime that the mind needs to rest

·My very favorite, take a power nap…yes, I can see you rolling your eye… I am telling you its the best energy booster of all… 10 minutes, put your head down, play some soothing music, close your eyes, and nap…

Happy Living…

About the Author- Ms. Nidhi Sharma An Emotional Intelligence Coach and Psychologist, Nidhi is a catalyst who believes in taking life from ‘Good to Great,’ through her Counselling, Life Coaching, and Behavioral Training. As an advertising professional with 14 years of experience, Ms. Sharma has worked with market leaders such as Ogilvy, Jagran Solutions, Candid Marketing, Milestone Entertainment, and India Today. During this period, and her interaction with myriad people from diverse walks of life led her to believe that there is an urgent need for emotional development in individuals to excel as professionals.