can happen if stress gets out of control
long term effects of stress do not begin all of a sudden. It gives sufficient
early warning for one to be able to take the necessary precautions. Where you
are under excessive levels of short-term stress, then you may find that your
performance goes to pieces. Afterwards, however, you will be able treat this
as a learning experience and can adopt stress management strategies to avoid
the problem in the future.
the effects of long term stress going out of control can be much more severe.
If you do not take action to control it, this can lead to:
Out (Part II)
I explains what happens during
suggests strategies in brief to avoid or cope with them.
getting up in the morning one ought to feel as "fresh as a daisy".
One should be able to work hard without undue haste or agitation, calmly and
methodically the whole day long. In the evening one should feel tired but in a
pleasant way. This is normal natural fatigue, which can be banished by a good
night's sleep, and the same cycle should begin the next day.
a person under long term stress becomes incapable of relaxing, resulting in
fatigue and exhaustion. Under these circumstances the daily routine of ones
work becomes a constant effort, even disagreeable and stress starts taking its
A weary person rarely experiences the early morning freshness. On the contrary
he knows clearly that from morning to evening he will have to "put up
with himself ", and that he will have to endure fatigue inertia and lack
of willpower. He knows that he will have to make a great effort to keep a
smiling face, that one tension will be added to another etc. It is therefore
easy to understand that the tired person will have "had enough". Of
whom? Of himself, of other people, of everything. All this will give rise to
irritability often manifesting as agitation.
to remedy this can be as simple as going to bed earlier, or taking a good
When you feel that you are getting exhausted very easily during your work
hours you can try out some of the following suggestions:
a stroll when you are stressed, it can help restore your perspective.
a five minutes break from your work every hour or so.
Avoid the habit of taking work home with you every night.
time you feel you have too much work to do delegate at least one task.
from those who do not suffer from stress.
routinely working late and at weekends.
to have lunch with your partner or a close friend at least once a week.
to talk openly about your emotions and feelings with your close friends
pressure by discussing work problems openly.
an hour or two alone each week away from work and family.
to say 'no'. You have the right to refuse other peoples excessive demand
on your time.
not ignore your problems acknowledge them as they arise.
re-examine your life and check whether the things you are doing lead to you
meeting your personal goals. This may show you which jobs or commitments you
can drop. Implementing time management strategies may also help you to work
more effectively, giving you more time to relax.
the problem is serious, go to see your doctor.
may often be initiated by high levels of long term stress, by failure
associated with stress-related under-performance, or by life crises.
depression is a clinical illness should be treated medically. It is important
that if you are depressed that you take this seriously. Severe depressions
that can cause years of unhappiness and low performance can be neutralised
quickly with drugs, by the appropriate form of psychotherapy, or by other
forms of personal action. An important part of intelligence is knowing when
there is a problem, and when to ask for help.
may start when:
miss important deadlines
are passed over for promotion
feel out of control
are very tired
are feeling inadequate while getting to grips with a new, difficult job
are bored for a long period of time
following points may help in handling depression before it gets serious:
important way of guarding against depression is getting your attitude
right: positive thinking really can help. As long as you can draw useful
lessons from failure, then failure can be positive.
talking about problems to a partner or to a respected colleague can often
help a lot. They may have been through a similar situation, seen the
problem before, or may be able to gently point out that you have the wrong
perspective on a situation.
you are under stress caused by excessive demands, using effective time
management can improve things. Similarly taking an enjoyable break may
you are not under enough pressure, you can set personal challenges to
you are already suffering from a mild form of depression, then the following
suggestions may help you to deal with it:
where lack of self-confidence is a factor, there are a number of things
you can do:
to set personal goals. This will help you to give yourself direction in
life, and will help you to acknowledge that you can achieve useful and
down a list of your negative points. Challenge each item on the list
objectively, asking yourself 'is this fair?', or 'is this really
serious?'. You should find that many of your negative beliefs are wrong
or insignificant. Where you identify serious failings, set measurable
personal goals to eliminate or neutralise them.
bring your anxiety and negative self-talk up to the surface of your
consciousness. Ask yourself whether it is realistic to worry about the
things you worry about: if you have no control over them, then worry
does no good. When you look at them rationally, you may find that
worries are irrational or out of proportion.
down a list of the things that you can do well, and of the positive
parts of your personality. Ignore 'virtues' like humility and modesty -
these are not good for your self- confidence or well-being. Be proud of
your good points - they can help you to contribute positively to the
almost all apparently negative experiences have positive elements to them.
Learn to identify these positives: this will help you to draw the best
from every situation. Even failing at something can be an intense and
valuable learning experience.
You may find that the root of problems lies with:
if you are failing to assert yourself, you may find that other people
are not paying attention to your wants and needs. This can be upsetting
and humiliating. Learn to express your wishes firmly, but only be
confrontational if absolutely necessary. Assertiveness training can be
beneficial in learning to do this.
Skills: if your relationships are difficult, then you may identify that
difficulties lie in the way in which you deal with other people. In this
case some form of Social Skills training may be beneficial.
Alternatively if you can identify where things are going wrong, you may
be able to set goals to overcome the problem.
people: it is easy to assume (especially when you are depressed) that
the fault in relationship problems lies with you. This may or may not be
the case. Examine your relationships rationally: you may find that
people around you are causing problems - there are some extremely rude,
awkward, arrogant or confused people in the world. If people are making
your life worse, then you may be better off without them.
You may find that you have set your standards unrealistically high. This
will typically occur where you believe that a certain standard of
achievement is necessary, but where you do not have either the financial
or time resources available to achieve those standards. In this case it
may be realistic to assess the standards that you can reasonably achieve
within the set constraints, and aim at these.
If you are very tired, or have been under stress for a long period, you
may find that a good break helps you to put problems into perspective.
Depression interferes with the functioning of a person it ought to be taken
seriously. Note that Major Depressive Disorder is a clinical condition,
remediable by drugs and should be treated by qualified psychiatrist. Delay
might result in fatal occurrences. So do not neglect.
Up: Over the Cliff (Part II)