“According to the Center for Disease Control/National Institute on Occupational Safety & Health, the workplace is the number one cause of life stress. The American Institute of Stress reports 120,000 people die every year as a direct result of work-related stress.” In a period of ten years, those numbers equate to 1.2 million deaths in the United States alone. The question is where does the problem start and how can the stress fatality rate be reduced?
Being able to recognize how stress affects your life starts by noticing some of the common symptoms such as: fatigue, stomach issues, festering anger, anxiousness, headaches, obsessing over tasks, carelessness, teeth grinding, tight muscles, and skin rashes. Though many of these symptoms can result from other issues, it is best to contact your physician if these problems persist. If untreated, stress can cause a heart attack and fatality.
Stress does have some positive attributes. For example, it can help you meet work deadlines or avoid danger by speeding up your mind’s ability to analyze difficult situations and then process a solution. But, as usual, too much of a good thing can become detrimental.
Managing stress is a difficult thing to do, but it is achievable if you can find the triggers. Recognizing and understanding the hotspots that cause stress are the first steps to a solution. Often, stress is so common in your life that you accept it as a norm, while internally your mind and body defensively react to slow and subtle attacks. Having a preplanned formula to combat various negative situations may not change the circumstance, but it can reduce frustration, anger, and hypertension.
Some things that cause internal stress are domestic and family problems, extensive commutes with unpredictable drivers, conflicts with coworkers, and long work hours with rigid deadlines. Analyzing the situation and finding a root cause will help you discover a way to manage the problem. Often, developing the tools to reduce the intensity of the symptoms will take research and ingenuity. You may need the assistance of an external viewpoint. Having the correct stress management will not remove the source of the anxiety. Deadlines, whether created internally or externally, will always need to be accomplished on time.
Throughout this discussion, the focus has been on your health, but unmanaged stress can be fatal to those you interact with as well. Accidents can be caused by symptoms of stress, such as negligence and inability to focus. The urgency to protect the technician and customers should be a priority for everyone within corporate aviation. But, unless the employee makes it their priority to become educated about their own body and wellbeing, management will continue to conduct business in its usual manner.
There are many ways to manage your stress and improve your health before it becomes a dangerous problem.
- Resolve home and work issues with a positive attitude.
- Approach problems and trials logically and rationally.
- Stay calm by taking short breaks and completing other tasks to clear the mind.
- Talk through life- and work-related hurdles with those who can help with solutions.
- Look for physical activities that provide short- and long-term mental rewards.
- Do something you really enjoy.
Adjusting your perspective and rational toward deadlines will improve your physiological, chemical, and emotional health. And, if not, go enjoy a break with some ice cream.