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The Science of Stress

Posted by Angelica on July - 30 - 2011

Quote: “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

 

Stress has become a major problem in our society and the sad thing is really, people who are stressed are either not aware about this or are still living in denial. High stress level makes us feel tired, anxious, and unable to concentrate, tensed, over alert, & depressed. These symptoms soon lead to insomnia or trouble sleeping, eating disorder (overeating or eating less than usual) & addiction towards short term help such as smoking, alcohol & even drugs. When we are stressed, things happen to us in a reaction of the brain telling the body “Survival is getting hard, so get ready to battle”.

Why do we feel stressed?

Organizational factor

Excessive workload

Long working hours

Work affecting home life

Continuous crisis management

Lack of communication

Lack of recognition

Managerial Biasness

Bullying

Harassment

Racism/ Sexism

Repetitive work

Numerous rules & guidelines

Lack of interest

Trust Issues

Isolation

Boredom

Salary related issues

Threats of poor performance

Comparisons among others

Lack of support from managers

Lack of control

Environment factor

Poor work environment

Air Conditioning problems

Too little workspace

Poor lighting

Lack of resources or tools

Noise pollution

Travelling

Poor ventilation

Poor pantry/ washroom facilities

Self factor

Negativity

Lack of motivation

Self Doubt

Low confidence/ self esteem

Health problems

Loss of direction

Financial matters

Family Problems

Changes (marriage, divorce..)

How much stress can we handle?

 

 
 
In a book I read recently, “Managing Workplace Stress: A best practice Blueprint” written by Stephen Williams & Lesley Cooper; it caught my attention on how stress was elucidated.
 
 
 
 

It was an explanation in a simple graph form but made complete sense on how stress or pressure affects productivity:

Level of stress

This graph explains how pressure affects performance which is divided to 5 levels.

Level 1: Known as the Rust Zone is when we are put under very little pressure that causes unproductively due to boredom or don’t care attitude. People in this level have the tendency to brush of task and constantly complaint of boredom.

Level 2: Known as the Comfort Zone is when we are at the level of stress that is comfortable to our tolerance. People are productive doing the task they know or are good at. Most people in the workplace tend to fall into this group.

Level 3: Known as the Stretch Zone is when we push ourselves out of our boundaries of comfort zone thus getting into the ‘learning curve’. This level is usually when both employees & employers gain optimal results of productivity.

Level 4: Known as the Strain Zone is the continuity of Stretch level stress which is the starting point for productivity loss and cause of other illnesses related to stress. People managers are usually ignorant at this point when they don’t see the need to stop or decrease the pressure input on staffs.

Level 5: Known as the Panic Zone is when we are intolerant to stress anymore and stress has overpowered our personal lives and caused major drop in productivity. This is the point which people face nervous breakdowns, panic attacks, major illnesses & change in behavioral attitude towards negativity.

When to say no?

It is healthy to give & receive pressure right up to the Stretch Zone, but once a person feels the symptoms of stress kicking, it’s wise to put a clear stop sign. Any further push factor done by an individual at the Strain Zone will lead to physical illness such as body aches & pain, diarrhea or constipation, frequent cold, rapid heartbeat, & gastrointestinal problems. It is the body’s way of telling to mind ‘Enough Already’.

Bear in mind that different people have different tolerance level to stress. Just because a peer is hanging on, you are not obliged to put up with high amount of stress. Remember that our health comes as a priority and surpasses any other resources available.

Boredom Rescuer List

Posted by Angelica on July - 11 - 2011

Quote of the day

“In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.” – “Richard Bach”

 

Things to do when you’re bored

 

  1. Private karaoke
  2. Download lyrics from websites & Sing along to your favorite song. Music has been proven to increase the mood & put a smile to your face!

     

  3. Go You-tubing @ www.youtube.com
  4. Find funny videos, motivational clips, trainings & self-improvement videos and many more.


  5. Just “Dolce far niente” which means the “Sweetness of doing nothing” in Italian
  6. Remember the times when you get so busy with work until you don’t have time to breathe? If you’re bored now, you might want to take this time to enjoy some laziness just not doing anything for a few hours or a day… or what the hell, even for a week!

     

  7. Browse the website for Cheap deals
  8. Try sites like Groupons, Hostelworld, AirAsia, eBay, Lelong.com and many more

     

  9. Groom yourself
  10. Why spend so much on Spa, when you can make your own at home, at your own leisure & space. Try creating your homemade beauty products with the items found in your kitchen & indulge in a nice body scrub or hair treatment. Purchase some nice scented candles/ aromatherapy oils to increase your home spa experience.

    Spices to spice things up

  11. Try Yoga or Meditation to lift up the Zen!
  12. Search for beginners’ yoga or meditation videos and try to imitate position for about 15mins to an hour on your own personal room or space. See how it will relax the mind and boost the energy in no time. You might even take it up as a long term hobby!

     

  13. Cook, bake, make a cocktail or mocktails
  14. Try simple recipes like an omelette with everything you have in your fridge/kitchen e.g: Tomatoes, cheese, parsley, bacon, ham, mayonnaise, mustard, milk, mushroom, etc. Buy beginner cookbooks of your choice and try a recipe. Enjoy adding your own creativity and you’ll be surprised with the outcome. Get some cocktail recipes from About.com

     

  15. Plant a tree
  16. I never knew how interesting this would be until I tried it myself. Get to a nearest supermarket to get a nice pot, some black soil, and your favorite seed (choose from vegetables & fruit like tomatoes, corn, herbs, or pretty flowers like daisy, orchids or roses). Make sure to water it at least once every day for 2 weeks until you see the first leaf. After that, you’ll want to keep visiting your plant friend. Try even talking to it by asking it to grow faster. 😉 If you live in an apartment, try indoor plants. See i-village for top indoor plants idea.

     

     

  17. Adopt a Pet
  18. A cat, dog, rabbits, fishes make great companionship and is a way to keep ourselves occupied. A pet would need feeding, cleaning up, love & care. Just make sure to consider the responsibility factors before owning a pet.

    Man's best friend

  19. Take a drive for food hunt
  20. Team up with some friends or family over the weekend for a food hunt somewhere far. Places like Ipoh, & Penang are well known for good & cheap food. It’ll be a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city too.

     

  21. Go Window Shopping
  22. Month end is still far away? It’s okey, just go window shopping. Look at stuffs, touch them, feel them, try it on, and then walk out of the shop. No need to spend anything or swipe the credit card for it, unless of course you really feel it’s a life/death deal you can’t miss. If you feel guilty of the staffs giving you a cheap look, just remember that they are paid to work there, and it’s not your responsibility to make them feel satisfied.

     

  23. Paint your nails/try NailArt (girls only) use diamonds, glittery stuffs and decorate…
  24. You’ll need many colors of nail polish, nail clippers & buffers, toothpicks, nail art stickers and a top coat, and never ever forget the nail polish remover. It can get really messy for beginners. Refer to step-by-step nail art for more ideas.

    Give your nails new look

  25. Read a book
  26. Books used to be a way to put me to sleep those days. And then I figured that no one should be forcing you to read a book but yourself. Try asking yourself what interest you the most. It could be fiction, motivational, romance, horror/thriller, mystery and many other interesting genres’ of books available. Take time read a few pages before picking a book that will interest you. Each writer will have a different approach to suit different readers. In no time, you’ll find yourself totally hooked to a book and no time for boredom!

 

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