How do you spend your lunch break, that is, if you have one at all? I came across this interesting article in Forbes, Jacquelyn Smith writes on, “16 Things You Should Do During Your Lunch Break.” Read it, it could do you a lot of good.
You must be having your own ideas as to what factors cause the most stress to employees. You would probably say that work and personal finance rank among the top. If you did, your views match those of many of the 16,000 participants worldwide, who took part in a recent survey done by Regus.
Like every other country in these exciting and demanding times, India too is changing and changing fast. But with economic prosperity comes the danger of burn out or working yourself to illness or worse still- death. A recent report from the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry in India ( ASSOCHAM) says work related ailments like heart disease, strokes and diabetes will cost India as much as $ 160 billion between 2009 and 2015.
If you are a fan of P G Wodehouse, join the new network I have created at Ning called ” Celebrating Wodehouse”. To me he remains my biggest stress buster! Every one has their special way to relieve stress. For some active physical exercise does the trick. For others it’s listening to music. To each his own, in a manner of speaking.
Decades ago, my city of Bangalore was called the Pensioners Paradise and also the Garden City. These days it is better known as the IT Hub, The Pub City and I am sad to say it is fast becoming Stress City.
Bangalore says a recent article in the Economic Times has the most number of suicides in India. Every month about 200 people commit suicide in Bangalore- largely due to stress, loneliness and financial insecurity. Most stress is induced by work related issues such as pressure to perform, competition at work, demanding work schedules and tight deadlines.
It was quite shocking to read in the Times of India that a 25 year old IIT educated engineer committed suicide because he was unable to cope with work pressure.
The article says Sandeep Shelke, the IIT educated software professional jumped from the 7th floor of his office building in Pune. The stated reason was that he was not able to perform upto expectations. Many comments have been written by readers of the article- some blaming the organisation, others blaming his boss who is supposed to have put pressure on him to perform, and yet others blaming the boy himself, saying that if he was not happy he should have simply quit his job.
Don’t we all take a break from time to time? Not too many people bother and it doesn’t make the news. But when Mahendra Singh Dhoni takes a break, it becomes major news all over the cricketing world. The Indian One Day International and Twenty20 captain has decided that it’s about time he takes a break- before he, well – collapses from sheer exhaustion. He has cried off from the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka beginning in a few weeks. It seems he will be back in action for the One dayers that start after the Test series.
Are you friendly with those who work around you? If yes, the chances of your coping with stress are much better says a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.
A story in the New York Times speaks of research at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Data was studied data of over 24,000 Canadian workers in 2002. They found that 5 percent of the workers suffered from serious bouts of depression. Notably, men who endured high job strain were two times more likely to succumb to depression than men with minimal job stress. Women who had little decision-making authority had twice the depression risk compared to women with more power.
Employees who feel social support at work are far less likely to suffer serious depression problems. “It’s more than just friendship,’’ said Emma Robertson Blackmore, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester and the lead author on the study. “Your family and friends give you support, but because they’re not in your work environment they don’t have the level of understanding that your work colleagues do.’’ Work friends, she noted, “get where you’re coming from.’’
So the next time, some one shares a problem at work or wants your time to talk about something which is bothering them, remember you too may need their time and help sometime.
The results include:
- 32% report extreme stress
- Nearly one in five (17%) reach their highest stress level 15 or more days per month.
- Almost half (48%) say their stress level has risen over the last five years.
Most participants — 82% — say they manage their stress well. But they also admit that stress causes problems with their physical and mental health, relationships, and work.
More than three out of four participants — 77% — said that within the previous month, they had had physical problems due to stress. Those problems included fatigue, headache, upset stomach, muscle tension, change in appetite, teeth grinding, change in sex drive, and feeling dizzy.
Almost as many participants — 73% — reported stress-related psychological symptoms in the previous month, including irritability, anger, nervousness, lack of energy, and feeling on the verge of tears.
The top 5 stressors were:-
- Work: 74%
- Money: 73%
- Workload: 66%
- Children: 64%
- Family responsibilities: 60%
The American Psychological Association provides these stress management tips:
- Understand how you experience stress. Everyone is different. How does stress affect you?
- Identify your sources of stress. What events or situations stress you out?
- Learn your own stress signals. For instance, you might get irritable, lose energy, have trouble concentrating, get headaches, or feel muscle tension when you’re stressed.
- Recognize how you deal with stress. Are you making unhealthy choices because of stress?
- Find healthy ways to manage stress. Examples include exercise, meditation, or talking things out with friends or family.
- Take care of yourself. Eat right, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, and engage in regular physical activity.
- Reach out for support. Accept help from supportive friends and family. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist for pointers on managing stress and changing unhealthy behaviors.