Managing stress is a balancing act. Looking forward to the start of a race or football match is good stress and is called excitement. Survival stress is how we react when faced with real threat. When we were cave dwellers it might have given us the ability to run from a saber-toothed tiger. Bad stress is called anxiety and that is our fear of any threat, whether that threat is real or imagined.
The main cause of stress is when you over focus on a threat and feel there is no resolution. The best way of handling that, then, is to give the mind something else to focus on. Most minds are not able to focus on several matters at the same time, which is why distraction is such a successful coping mechanism for when a person is over focused on a threat.
These distraction activities could include regular, relaxing exercises such as yoga, Pilates, swimming or team sports. Games such as chess, cards, sudoko and crosswords are also healthy distraction activities because they occupy the mind in a friendly, positive pastime.
Distraction works on two levels. On one level it is about getting the work life balance correct and on another level it offers the opportunity to clearly identify smaller work tasks that need to be completed. Achieving work goals and successes, even tiny ones, contribute to the lifting of stress.
Talking can also be an effective tool in managing stress. Simply having someone to talk to can ease anxiety. The old adage of a problem shared is a problem halved is worth remembering because getting another person’s perspective on what is stressing you can help put your anxiety into perspective. Simply talking about what ails you is a useful strategy in identifying your concerns and understanding your own feelings. It’s also a really good idea to make sure you’re on the right path by checking with a health professional. Your GP can point you in the right direction. Beyond Blue also have useful resources on stress management as well as a hotline (1300 22 46 36) where you can chat to a trained person for free.
Learning how to manage the stress levels of people you interact with each day will better equip you to be more effective in your workplace.
Selmar’s Certificate III in Customer Contact BSB30211 provides training in managing personal stress in the workplace. You will learn to recognise the symptoms of stress and develop strategies to successfully manage the causes of the condition. Designed for people interesting in developing a career in the customer contact industry, the Cert III also provides skills in dealing with customers and complaints and training in telephone, customer service and telecommunications technology.
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