Business of Well-being

Managing Stress at Work - The 'Triple A' Approach

Have you ever noticed that you seem to get sick at the same time each year or after a challenging or stressful situation? It's a known fact that stress makes people sick. Chronic stress can cause havoc on your Body, Mood and Behavior and can range from mild symptoms to as severe as death.

The Mayo Clinic states that "When we feel the effects of stress weighing us down, it's like lugging a backpack that's becoming heavier by the minute. Too much of it can make our journey through life difficult." Everyone experiences stress, but when it'll exceeds your ability to cope that is when your health is at risk.

If you are experiencing stress at work that could mean that your health is being compromised for at least 8 hours a day. When you compound that over the course of a year, you are exposing your body to approximately 2,000 hours of stress.It is crucial to acknowledge that you might be experiencing stress at work and you might not be managing it effectively.

Below is the Triple A Approach that might give you the fighting edge when managing your stress at work.

  1. Alter - Be willing to communicate openly with your co-workers or supervisor. When you find yourself overwhelmed with work look, take inventory of your To-Do List and determine if there is an opportunity to alter the tasks. Perhaps there is a better way to follow-through or complete a task that is more effective. If you can manage your time more effectively, you will probably accomplish more and find yourself more relaxed.
  2. Accept - This may require forgiveness which is often a difficult thing to do. It takes a lot of energy to stay angry and it is never good for your health. If there is a situation at work that is causing stress, you may want to decide whether it's worth stewing over or to just accept that it's part of your job. Learning from your mistakes is also hard to do, however it may offer you some relief that allows you to move on from a challenging situation.
  3. Avoid - Although avoiding your problems isn't typically the right approach, there may be situations when it just makes sense. You do have the power to take control of your situations. If there is a regular occurrence that causes you stress then discover if it's something you can avoid. You can also learn to say "no" occasionally. If you find yourself volunteering to take on extra work (over and above what is required of you), consider what that is doing to your stress level.

Remember, there is such thing as good stress and those moments are what make you feel alive and vibrant. The role of stress is to give your body a shot of adrenaline to increase your heart rate to help you perform an important task or manage a situation effectively. However, your body needs time to recover from that stress in order to be ready for the next challenge.

The dangers start to increase when you are unable to give your body and heart enough "down-time" to adjust to a normal heart rate and the feeling of relaxation. Evaluate your workday and determine how you are handling the stresses you typically encounter. It's all in how you manage it that keeps you happy and healthy. Remember the Triple A approach and remind yourself that you always have a choice and I have offered you 3 - Alter, Accept and Avoid.

About the Author

Lisa Lounsbury is the founder of New Day Wellness, a corporate wellness and fitness training company. visit

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