Stress at Work : Causes
- Customers, co-workers, and real life
- Can we do more with less and not break?
When Stress Comes : What is Happening to Me?
- What is the “fight, flight, or freeze” response?
- Physical, emotional, and cognitive responses to stress, immediate and long-term
- Release of Adrenalin, Cortisol, and elevated Cholesterol
Power Tools to Manage and Over-come Stress
- Seeking Peace : “All men desire peace, but very few desire those things that make for peace.”
- Breathing and relaxation – it really helps
- Diet, nutrition, exercise, message
- What do you do for fun? How do you relax at home?
- Starting your day right, ending your day well
- Writing love notes
- Direct Neurofeedback is excellent
- Being “right” with God, your family, friends, and yourself
- The power of the 23rd Psalm even after 3000 years
- Counseling with a professional
Can you remember the very first time that you felt an overwhelming sense of stress at work? Can you remember the sense of fear that ran through your body, The shallow breathing, racing of your heart?
Most of us have experienced this at some time in our life, and the suffocating feelings of stress can follow us whether we are at work, or at home, or just shopping at Albertson’s.
You know that the stress can be brought on by your supervisor at work, or even your coworkers. Sometimes frustrated customers can pile on and make the situation much worse. And with the recent changes in the economy have come changes in how businesses have to operate. Everyone is asked to do more with less. But how do we do more with less and not break? Stress comes to us all.
What is happening to me when stress comes?
We all have wired within us a part of our central nervous system that we know as the “fight, flight, or freeze” response system. God gave us the system to help keep us alive. It reacts to the stressors around us, or within us. It changes the way that our body and brain function so that we can survive dangerous situations. And sometimes, under stress, our body interprets work conditions as “dangerous.” Sometimes that system starts up, and when it does, it is very hard to turn off.
When this “fight or flight” system turns on the body goes through immediate physical, emotional, and cognitive changes. Our thinking becomes more focused as our world become smaller, but our ability to solve problems or figure things out, gets worse. Our heart rate increases, and so does our muscle tension – especially around our neck and shoulders. Sometimes you feel a choking sensation, and usually we have a sense of fear or foreboding.
Even when we know it is going to go away at some point, the damage has been done. Adrenaline and cortisol have been released into our bloodstreams. And in order to repair the damage that they can cause, the body then releases cholesterol. Cholesterol goes up, and overall health goes down. And over time this becomes a serious health problem.
Power tools to manage stress
As hard as it is to turn off the “fight or flight” system in our bodies, there are a variety of tools to use to be able to turn off that system, and relax once again. And while this list of “power tools” will seem simple enough, they are in fact best taught to you by a therapist or counselor. Your stress is potentially dangerous to you, and so the remedies to stress should be carefully learned.
Here at our counseling office in Tehachapi our clients who come to learn these stress management tools come from many walks in life: Government workers, school teachers, people living through the pain of a divorce, business executives. Lots of people have lots of stresses.
Here is our list of stress management tools that we teach our clients at our office in Bear Valley Springs, just outside of Tehachapi:
- Breathing and relaxation-it really does help;
- Reducing your caffeine intake, eating better, learning about nutrition, and exercise. These can all help us to deal with our stresses;
- Giving and receiving encouragement, saying positive things to others, thinking more “good thoughts”;
- Learning to relax, and to have fun at home. This seems to be a lost art;
- Learning how to start your day off right, and learning how to end your day well;
- Learning to write love notes. Really. Learning to write notes to other people that encourage, and bless them. It is good for their souls, and ours;
- Forgiveness. Forgiveness and Unforgiveness are equally powerful at impacting our health, our productivity, and our relationships;
- Learning to seek peace with others, with yourself, and with God.
- Direct Neurofeedback is a great tool to decrease anxiety, stress, and worry – and to feel more at peace.
This list is very powerful. And if you find that you need to try some of these out, I would suggest that you start with this simple exercise:
Everyday read the 23rd Psalm out loud – five times a day.
This wisdom is about 3000 years old. Read it out loud. Five times a day. Once in the morning, mid-morning, mid-day, afternoon, night-time. Hear it. Reflect on it. Begin to rest in it. For some people this can be as powerful as medication. It can begin to change our lives.
And when the stress becomes quite noticeable, it is always a good idea for you to set up an office visit with your physician to get a thorough physical, and especially get those cholesterol levels checked. Talk to your doctor more about how your stress is impacting your body. And please do not put this off.
Further Resources on Stress, Anxiety, or Stress Management:
We provide Stress Management classes and workshops for businesses and government agencies in Tehachapi, Bear Valley Springs, Stallion Springs, and Bakersfield. The Handout for our workshop entitled “Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety, Worry, and Fear” is available for download in PDF format here.
A very helpful book at learning how to manage stress is written by a back surgeon from Seattle. “Back in Control” by David Hanscon, M.D. is available at Amazon or from his website. Excellent.
Forgiveness, Stress Management, and Happiness : Dr. Luskin at Stanford
Are you looking for counseling in Tehachapi? Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., MFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Tehachapi, CA who has been a counselor in Tehachapi, Lancaster, and Bakersfield to children, teens, and adults helping them to overcome ADHD, find relief for depression or anxiety, and solve other problems in life since 1989. He served on the medical advisory board to the company that makes Attend and Extress from 1997 through 2011, and he is the Editor of the ADHD Information Library online resource at http://newideas.net/. His weekly ADHD Newsletter goes out to 9,500 families. Visit his website at http://DouglasCowan.me for more information on achieving greater health, personal growth, Christ-centered spirituality, stress management, parenting skills, ADHD, working out the stresses of being a care-giver to elderly parents and also being a parent to teenagers, or finding greater meaning in retirement years, Dr. Cowan can be a valuable resource to you as a mentor, life coach, consultant, psychotherapist, and Christian counselor in Bear Valley Springs just outside of Tehachapi, and via Skype or Facetime.
Counselor counseling Tehachapi for ADHD, depression, anxiety, and more.
Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., MFT
27400 Oakflat Dr.
Tehachapi, CA 93561