Learning the Emotional Impacts Of Stress
A new pandemic is unleashing, and with a vengeance – increased stress and emotional problems in the workplace. Or, should I say, from the workplace.
Everyday, there are new stories arising that relate to the negative impact that stress is having on workers, which is not industry-specific (although some industries seem to be suffering more, such as healthcare). According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers are experiencing on-the-job stress, some more severely than others.
Stress impacts every aspect of our lives, from physical health to emotional health. More than anything, stress negatively impacts our emotional health. It can cause you to be depressed, emotionally spent and exhausted, and a whole slew of other negative things.
In this article, we’re going to help you identify the emotional impact of your stress and what you can do about it.
Personality changes that may be caused by stress
The first way for you to identify if your stress is impacting your emotional health is by observing a few personality changes. It’s important to note that by personality changes, we mean long-term. Everyone experiences mood shifts, good days and bad days, etc. We’re talking about noticing these personality changes taking effect for days and weeks at a time, or longer.
The following are noticeable personality changes that could be caused by stress:
- Decreased interest in appearance
- Aggressive feelings or behavior
- Decreased concern in punctuality
- Lack of motivation
- The Reduced work efficiency or productivity
- Obsessive/compulsive behaviors
- Excessive auspiciousness or defensiveness
- Lying or making excuses to cover up poor work or behavior
- Communication difficulties
- Social withdraw
If you notice any of the following changes taking hold on your life and emotional health, try to limit your stress and maybe seek additional help.
Stress can cause certain anxiety disorders to creep up, come back, or flare up. Stress and anxiety are bed mates and rarely exist without each other. If you’re overworked and over-stressed and do nothing about it, anxiety can start to take hold.
If you notice that most everything causes you to feel anxious or even to panic, this could be a problem for you. If you’re unfamiliar with the feelings of anxiety, here are some common signs of panic:
- Heart racing
- Tightness in the chest making it difficult to breath
- Stomach pain or feelings of butterflies in the stomach
- Acid reflux
- Hot flashes or chills
- Numbness in your hands or other parts of the body
- Feeling dizzy or light-headed
It’s important to note that anxiety and panic affect everyone differently. Each person has a different tell for their anxiety attacks; the best advice we can give you is to pay attention and note your signs.
Stress can also impact your emotional health by causing or worsening depression. It’s very important to address depression if it’s starting to take hold in your life, as it can worsen very quickly with little to no warning. If you’ve noticed any of the following symptoms creep up and not seem to go away, consider talking to a friend, loved one, or mental health professional for assistance:
- Decreased interest in favorite things or activities
- Social withdraw or isolation
- Decreased interest in appearance
- Interest in doing little other than laying around
- Decreased interest in hygiene
- Sense of hopelessness
What to do about it
If you’ve noticed that stress is impacting your emotional health, there are a few things you can do to help it:
Eliminate unnecessary stressors
Are you taking on more responsibilities than you need to? Do you stress about little things that you should probably just let go? Sit down and take a hard look at your life and what’s causing you stress. See what you can eliminate or work on not taking so hard or letting go of.
Keep to a schedule
Sometimes, what’s stressing us out the most is a lack of control. Scheduling your time and sticking to it can help to eliminate some of that excess stress that’s impacting your emotional health. Making lists each day will help you to keep focused on your tasks – you won’t have to think or worry about what to do – and helps with managing your time.
Take time for you
We’re all busy, but it’s important for us to work in some time for ourselves. Self-care is an important part of our emotional and mental health. If you’re having trouble with too much stress in your life, carving some time out for yourself may be just what you need to revive yourself and feel rejuvenated.
The most important step is to be aware of when you first start experiencing any of the symptoms listed, and not wait, as this will only lead to problems down the road. It is much easier to cope with them at the start, not waiting until they spiral out of control. Keep a journal or mood chart to capture these, including the time of day, what you were doing, etc. This will help you to be more aware and take control of your emotional health at all times.
If you, ore your team, wants to learn more about how to manage emotional wellness in the workplace, reach out for info on our programs and trainings. Awareness is key. We do work with individuals, both in-person and remote.
Mind over matter – You are what you believe
Happy September! As we star a new month, and moving to the last part of the year, the time is now to set plans in place for how you want this time to go. But, no matter what steps you plan to take, the most important factor is mindset.
What you may not realize is that your mindset – your thoughts, feelings, attitudes – all determine your interactions daily, with your situations and the people you interact with. Do you ever feel that your plans or goals are ‘hard’ or not obtainable, for whatever reason? Well, there is a saying to consider: mind over matter.
What is mind over matter? We like to think of our minds as something intangible, a sort of spiritual phenomenon. The truth is that the mind is a result of the processes of the brain and the brain is very much a physical part of the world.
The human mind is so powerful and it can change your world in surprising ways. “Mind over matter” is a scientific fact:
Mind Over Matter No 1. The Healing Power of Thought
Most of us don’t pay attention to how our mind thinks, what it fears, what it say to itself and what it brushes asides. Pay close attention, as our mind and our thoughts is one of the most powerful forces. What you think you believe, both positive and negative. Behaviors result from thoughts.
Mind Over Matter No 2. Meditation: Not Just for Monks
Meditation is becoming popular and widespread like never before. It is seen that people who practice it consistently and correctly enjoy host of benefits, such as: they sleep better, feel more energetic, less stressful and have a strong immune system.
Some super advanced practitioners of meditation, even take control of their body functions such as their heart rate, blood pressure and control it on command. Meditation does take practice to quiet the mind and become a habit; start small, such as 2 minutes, focusing on your breathing. Keep increasing your time to experience the true benefits of calming the mind and body to handle anything in your life.
Mind Over Matter No 3. Rid your mind of toxic thoughts
Toxic thoughts are extremely poisonous and can cause us to subconsciously sabotage our progress. Therefore, you must learn how to deal with these negative thoughts and let them go; otherwise, they will slowly take their roots and start controlling your behaviors.
Get rid of such thought patterns and eliminate them which prevent you to make progress in your lives; however, it’s not easy to eliminate some thoughts at first; the more you focus on a thought the more you actually attract it. Whenever you find such thoughts arising replace them with some positive and supportive thoughts; neuroscience says that for every negative thought, you need at least 3 positives to override it.
Mind Over Matter No 4. Meaning and Having a Higher Purpose
For many people, having a high purpose means going above and beyond what they normally do; it means challenging your knowledge, skills, and abilities (SKAs) to uncover more than you believe you can; it’s digging deep and recognizing the strengths your have and use them for higher purposes, such as in your job.
For example, Mary has been tasked to work on a project but holds herself back, with thoughts of “I can’t do this;” however, if Mary were to assess her SKAs, she would realize that she does know and is able to focus on the task. (If Mary were to recognize that she was given the task – her boss recognized her ability to get the job done).
Mind Over Matter No 5. Learn to focus
A focused mind directs your actions to a given outcome, it directs your thoughts and actions on your aims. If you intensely focus on something, you will attract it in one way or the other. If someone is concentrating more on their fears and anxieties they are most likely to attract them. Similarly if person focus more on success, joy then happiness will be attracted more. Let go of unjust, unbeneficial, and toxic thoughts.
We spend the majority of our time concentrating on our physical appearance but less attention to our mental hygiene. What you think is just as important as getting exercise, eating right or taking your prescribed medicine. It’s all about the power of mind over matter. Take care to practice mental hygiene. Of course, you should not hide away from all the bad stuff in the world, but you should practice moderation when it comes to negative mental “energy” in your life. That’s the key to true mind over matter.
One last thought: ‘take care of your brain and it will take care of you!’
If you’re struggling with negativity, stress, anxiety or other issues that hold you back, isn’t it time to do something about this? Reach out to get help today https://cyscoaching.com
On Your Way to Being Happy – and Achieving More In Your Life
Happiness Is More Than Thinking Positive Thoughts
Everyone wants to be happy, don’t they? Reaching goals, making money, travel, finding love – they all bring happiness. Or do they?
While the dictionary defines happiness as “the state of being happy,” this gives you very little information about the idea or feeling of, or state of happiness. We all have heard of ‘living the dream’ – but does this mean being in a happy state?
Happiness is an internal state and will look different for each individual. Some look to fame and fortune to be happy, while others feel that way by just feeling the breeze. Defining what happiness means to you will lead you to seeking out what makes you happy and not just keep chasing it.
Let’s look at some different aspects that happiness can be, but realize that, in truth, happiness is in the mind of the beholder:
- Your Needs are Met – When a person is happy, they usually don’t even have any needs that aren’t being met to the level they want them to be met. It doesn’t mean that someone is not having a hard time it’s all about how you make what you have fill your needs.
- You Feel Satisfied – When you are happy you tend to feel simply satisfied with your life. You think about your life and feel good about it. You feel very satisfied when you look around your life and see all the fortune you have whether it’s where you live, who you live with, or just about yourself doesn’t even matter.
- You Feel Content – A happy person tends to feel really content about the things in their life. They feel content about their job, their home, their things, their health – nothing is nagging at their mind about anything causing stress. But remember happy people do have stress, they’re just better at feeling content even when things aren’t perfect.
- You Are at Peace – A happy person often feels a lot of peace surrounding their life and family. They tend to know that everything will turn out okay and are good at turning negativity around to positivity.
- Your Definition – The truth is, happiness is how you define it personally for you. It’s not about getting tons of stuff unless you want that. It’s not about finding a spouse unless you want that. It’s not about having kids unless you want that. It’s all up to you and how you define happiness.
- It’s a Journey – Happiness is not a destination that you get to one day and stay at. It’s a lifelong journey that will have many ups and downs and struggles. However, overall the ups and downs of life, you manage to feel good about it. In the 1989 movie, “Parenthood” one of the main characters, a mother, who is struggling states that she loves “the rollercoaster” of life while her husband is struggling and not as happy because he focuses on the downs instead of the ups.
- It’s How You Act – When you are happy you tend to act in more positive ways over all. When happy, you eat better, you move more, you think differently. Don’t worry. You have it in your power to be happy where you are in your life right now.
Here are some quick tips to find your level of happiness:
- Reflect – Take time to spend in self-reflection for your life – the good, the bad, the disappointments – each of these moments can show that you do have happy times throughout your life and, can then, focus on recreating that state to your present life.
- Change Thoughts– reframing negative thoughts to positive ones will alter your neurons so you not only think happy, but feel that happy state of emotions. According to Mark Wahlberg, a neuroscience researcher, you need three positive thoughts to override one negative. Challenging your thoughts (“is this true?”) will create a new habit of positive thinking.
- Practice Gratitude – make it a habit to practice gratitude daily. Write down at least three things (more is better) you are grateful for, and then do the same at the end of the day. This will bring more calm and peace into your life; you will see the good, which creates a sense of happiness.
Happiness is more than thinking positive thoughts. Happiness is having your needs met, but it’s not about having everything, or even the best, it’s about being satisfied with what you have while also being able to work for the things you want. While you do have to do more than think positively to really and truly feel happy, it does start with your thoughts. However, it will manifest with your actions. Follow the steps to get started.
Morning Rituals: Setting the Stage for a Serene and Centered Work-Day
When you get up in the morning to go to work, are you sluggish and hesitant to get out of bed, or are you energized and ready to face the day? Do you feel stressed or calm when you think of going to work?
If you answered the first part of these questions with yes, then it’s time to reverse this and get you motivated to start your day pm well. Stress can lead you to think and feel negatively and you won’t do your best.
There are better ways to start your day on a positive note so you will perform at your highest, and that is by having daily rituals that start your day.
Rituals can change the way you view the day and can improve your well-being and quality of life. Having a set routine helps to develop good habits and reach your goals and aspirations, while rituals can improve your mood and shape your beliefs. They will allow you to keep accountable and stay motivated on the days when you do not want to get out of bed.
Morning rituals are the best way to set your days up for success and stay in control of the day, regardless of challenges you may face. The way that you wake up each morning will dramatically increase your quality of life and balance your stress levels, allowing you to feel calm and at peace throughout the rest of the day.
What is a Morning Ritual?
Both routines and rituals are crucial to a positive state of mind and maintaining mental stability. However, it is important to know that they are not the same thing but that they complement one another. A morning ritual takes on a task that may be part of one’s routine and puts meaning and intention behind it.
Rituals are habits that an individual develops to nurture and build a strong mindset. They allow you to appreciate the benefits these routines provide in your daily life and provides value beyond completing a task.
Rituals are self-empowering and allow a change in your perspectives reality. They allow us to reinforce habits with reasoning behind them that can be very effective on improving our mental health and emotions. They are a great way to improve your outlook and attitude so your day becomes easy; you will learn to become calmer and deal with any stressors you face.
Here are some examples of Morning Rituals:
Gratitude reinforces happiness and can set the tone for a positive outlook on the day. It allows you to appreciate the little moments that occur throughout the day and finding ways to be grateful for whatever the day presents.
One way to practice gratitude is through journaling. By making a list each morning of the things you are most grateful for, you will train your mind to look for moments of appreciation throughout the rest of the day. Starting your day off with a grateful mind is the best way to stay positive and full of joy each and every day.
Goals and Aspirations
Writing down your goals and how you will achieve them is the best way to stay motivated and keep yourself accountable. It is easy to say a goal out loud but writing it down and staying attuned to it each morning will make you more likely to achieve it and stick to it.
Along with your gratitude journal, writing daily goals will lessen any stress as you will know what to do each day, plus will be getting closer and closer to your goals. Goals that you think about each and every morning will keep you dedicated and committed no matter what obstacles arise.
Take time each morning to read from a book; it could be a chapter or a few lines from a novel you enjoy or that motivates you. By doing so, you will be working on your personal or professional development and be inspired to get to work. Many people read Bible verses to start their day. Set a timer for 5-15 minutes, or read a page a day – soon you will have the book finished.
Meditation is a great practice to keep your mind healthy and productive throughout the day. By clearing your mind for a short period of time each morning, you will notice the positive impacts that meditating has on many different components of your life.
Research has shown that meditation has direct links with happiness, reduced anxiety and depression, balanced emotions, and alertness. When you acknowledge and sit with your emotions, you will notice that they no longer follow you throughout the day and prevent you from completing your daily tasks.
Meditation has tons of benefits that will improve your perspective on reality and your calmness throughout the day. Meditating will also help you realize gratitude and focus on your aspirations while staying as productive and dedicated as possible. It’s important to remember that mediation is not taking your thoughts away but, with practice, you won’t feel compelled to do anything about them. Start with 2 minutes, then work your up to reap the benefits.
Creating rituals leads to more focus, concentration, and inspiration to face the day. These are only a few suggestions so take one and start using it, then do another and so on. Soon, rituals will be a part of you day you can’t miss.
If stress is taking over in your workplace, reach out to learn about services and programs that will help you to manage it so you can have a more productive team.