Managing Stress

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STRESS AND RELAXATION

Stress is a natural part of life, a reaction to the everyday demands on our physical and mental energy. Under stress, the parasympathetic nervous system prepares the body for action –fight or flight, to handle the situation.

 

Stress can be positive, such as planning a vacation, or negative, such as dealing with family issues.

 

IS STRESS MAKING YOU SICK

The unhealthy effects of stress show up all over your body, anywhere from the skin to your internal organs. Unrelenting stress can also depress your immune system, making you more susceptible to minor infections, such as cold or flu.

 

The signs of stress vary, but the most common are:

  • Feeling Exhausted or Tired
  • Sleepless Nights
  • Aches and Pains
  • Heart Disease
  • Digestive Disorder
  • Body Odor
  • Dental Problems
  • Mental Problems

 

FACTS ABOUT STRESS

In a recent study, stress at work was associated with employee burnout, acute and chronic health problems, and poor work performance. Over 70% of workers say that job stress causes frequent health problems.

 

Soft tissue injuries are estimated to account for about 50% of workplace injuries in Canada.

Physical Factors: such as long periods of time spent at a keyboard or poor screen position

Psychosocial Factors: such as lack of job control, deadlines, low-levels of social support and workload

 

The effects of stress are cumulative and can lead to:

  • Headaches, backaches, eyestrain, neck pain
  • Repetitive use injuries such as tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Listlessness, poor concentration, anxiety, depression, irritability or anger
  • Lowered resistance to colds and infection, high blood pressure, heart disease
  • Physical and emotional exhaustion (burnout)

 

COPING STATEGIES

  1. Massage Therapy –monthly for a maintenance
  2. Exercise –150 minutes per week
  3. Deep Breathing or Relaxation techniques
  4. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine
  5. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night
  6. Learn to say NO

 

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