There is always great responsibility on the shoulders of any business owner or manager. Responsibility to achieve targets, meet deadlines, and to make the business profitable. Factor in the added responsibilities of managing staff and their own individual personalities and idiosyncrasies. Juggling personal family commitments, time management or lack of, plus commitments of partners. With so many external factors beyond our control we need to be even more flexible and adaptable in order to keep our businesses meeting the challenges of ever changing market conditions. In times of economic recession such as we are experiencing now sometimes these burdens can overwhelm us, shut us down and render us unable to cope.
What exactly is stress and how to recognize it?
Stress is an part of modern-day business. There is however positive and negative stress. Positive stress is likened to watching an action packed movie where we are on the edge of our seat. When the movie ends so too does the tension in our body.
Negative stress is where tension is allowed to build up, without release, resulting in residual tension. It’s this residual tension that can create an overload in the body and it is times such as these that we react. Each person responds and copes with stress differently.
Prolonged stress results in increased anxiety. It decreases concentration, can make us more prone to illness and sickness. Some people tend to eat more where others may lose their appetite. Others may drink alcohol or smoke to excess. It can make some people less communicative and may also cause irritability and poor judgement. Stress may make some people aggressive. Others have an inability to concentrate, difficulty in making decisions, confusion, and memory loss.
Worry, anxiety, high blood pressure, feelings of unease, poor communication are just some ways stress manifests itself.
Once we recognize symptoms of stress, we must identify both the cause of the stress and effective ways of coping with it.
Learning to cope with stress is essential for good health and stable relationships. If not dealt with effectively, stress can jeopardise both our health and our relationships.
Sources of stress in the workplace today
- Too much to do and too little time.
- Random interruptions. Interruptions that keep you from getting the work done, for instance telephones, walk in visitors, and supervisor’s demands.
- Office politics.
- Unclear policies and no sense of direction.
- Lack of appreciation and communication.
- Fickle marketplace. Often in New Zealand people have horses for fun and recreation so when times are tight it is often the non-essential things that are first to go.
Those who ignore prevailing stress levels are negligent in their duties. Grasping the concept and reducing stress one step at a time can have an amazing impact on the financial results and on the lives of those who do the daily graft.
Where to get help
In economic terms there are widely available opportunities for enhancing ourselves as far as business skills are concerned – learning new computer programmes, mastering accounting principles, sales techniques and more. However when it comes to our personal development there is very little available and many people are reluctant to seek help at all for fear of being ridiculed or laughed at as being weak of character, lacking nerve, or simply being thought of as a less than effective business leader.
More and more every year people are spending increasing amounts of money on anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs. Drugs only mask the symptoms and do not address the real issues. Out of control stress also costs companies through increased absenteeism, lack of enthusiasm for the job, poor performance, and bad attitudes. Improvement in each of these areas can bring improved productivity and increased profits.
Things you can do for yourself and for your staff
- Stress reduction workshops.
- Lunchtime 7-minute relaxation exercises will benefit staff both on and off the job.
- Give the Relaxation Exercise to take home and share with family and friends.
- Learn self-hypnosis.
- Get regular exercise and correct nutrition.
- Learn to leave work at work.
- Have a positive mental attitude and outlook on life. Being relaxed and calm and positive will ensure you make good decisions, and making the right decisions increases your confidence.
- Mix with like-minded people and avoid those who undermine you or bring you down.
- Think big and strive for success – keep the big picture, end result and goals fixed firmly in your mind.
- Contract someone like Lindsay Cook who can teach your staff how to relax, unwind and minimise their stress levels.
Every business manager should learn effective ways of preventing and managing stress. Ultimately the responsibility lies with the individual. However it is a critical factor in employee retention especially in a small to medium-sized business. One-man band operations need it for sanity, and for balancing work and family.
How Lindsay can help you and what to expect from treatment
- Build confidence.
- Be able to prioritise. Focus on the things that are most important at the time.
- Have awareness of the current situation in order to be in a position to act under pressure.
- Be resilient, resourceful, focused under pressure.
- Setting up to succeed.
- Mental toughness. Being able to “flush it away” if things go wrong.
- Staying in the present. Minimising the effect of any mistakes so they don’t interfere with the future.
- Eliminating bad habits.
- Effectively utilising emotions.
- Undoing fears and previous bad experiences.
- Dealing with personal issues (family problems, or money worries for instance) and not allowing them to interfere with your focus.
Whatever the type of work you are involved in the mind is critical to your overall development. Mastering the mental game is the secret to excellence.
Think it. Believe it. It becomes a reality. Perception is everything.
Lindsay Cook studied with the New Zealand School of Hypnotic Science and qualified in 1994 with a Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy. She is a Professional Member of the Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists as well as being a full member of the New Zealand Society of Clinical and Applied Hypnotherapists.
Lindsay runs a general Clinical practice from New Zealand and conducts clinics throughout the country and in Australia, UK and Europe specialising in Sports Hypnotherapy for athletes, particularly equestrian sports athletes. Coupled with her experience in the corporate world she coaches sales and management executives to help achieve their targets, and runs stress management workshops.
You can contact Lindsay on 021-222 5546 or hypnotherapy[at]lindsaycook.net