Apparently stress literally shrinks the size of your brain!
Researchers at Yale University found that stress reduces the volume of grey matter in the part of your brain that is responsible for self-control. So, the fact that someone is experiencing stress makes it more difficult to deal with future stress, because their ability to take control and manage their stress is in itself diminished.
But the plasticity of the brain lets it change and rebuild damaged areas as a person practices new behaviours. What this means, is that adopting healthy stress-relieving techniques, of itself, trains your brain to handle stress more effectively.
I used this article in researching this post.
Doctor Bradbury suggests seven strategies to help you fix your brain and keep your stress under control:
- Say No. Saying no to a new commitment gives regard to your existing commitments and lets you successfully fulfil them.
- Disconnect from Technology. Studies have shown that something as simple as a weekend e-mail break can lower stress levels.
- Neutralize Toxic People. Difficult people cause you frustration, exhaustion and stress. Control your interactions with toxic people by reining in your feelings.
- Don’t Hold Grudges. The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are a stress response. Holding onto that stress can have devastating health consequences such as high blood pressure and heart disease
- Practice Mindfulness. This Mindfulness is a simple form of meditation that is an effective way to gain control of unruly thoughts and behaviours. And become more focused, allowing you to reduce the feeling of being out of control.
- Put Things in Perspective. Our worries often come from our own skewed perception of events so take a moment to put the situation in perspective. List the specific things that actually are going wrong or not working out.
- Use Your Support System. Recognize your weaknesses and ask for help by tapping into your support system when a situation is challenging enough for you to feel overwhelmed. Identify who will help you then get the best from a difficult situation and seek their insights and assistance Talking about your worries will provide an outlet for your anxiety and throw a new perspective on the situation.
Talk to your manager
As an employee, you should be aware that if you are experiencing work related stress, it is perfectly acceptable to bring this to the attention of your manager, and to expect them to take your comments seriously and try to help solve the situation.
You may find that your manager can adjust your workload, clarify expectations, arrange for support from colleagues, extend deadlines, and enable you to improve your skills if required.
They may be able to change your physical surroundings, alter your workstation, heat or cool the area as appropriate.
They may also be able to arrange for you to go on courses such as time management skills, or change management, or IT related courses.
They may also be able to access counselling, therapies, or other resources on your behalf.