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11 Behavioural symptoms of stress

Like most problems; the sooner you spot stress the easier it is to manage. It pays to be familiar with the many different symptoms of stress. The symptoms of stress fall into many different categories e.g. behavioural, physical, emotional, psychological etc. Over the coming weeks I shall be discussing each of these, however, this week I shall begin with the behavioural symptoms of stress.

Stress can affect behaviour in many different ways but the following tend to be the most common behavioural symptoms of stress.

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Behavioural symptoms of stress

1. Sleeping difficulties

behavioural symptoms of stress insomnia

Sufferers of stress often find it difficult to switch off. With no activity to distract them, negative thinking, anxieties and worries take over the mind. Fear of having forgotten something and negative expectations of forthcoming events (e.g. interview, presentation) limits the ability to relax sufficiently to fall asleep. Sleep shortage and insomnia are often tell-tale signs of stress.

 2. Lack of punctuality

behavioural symptoms of stress poor punctuality

Timekeeping is one of the first things to suffer when an individual becomes stressed. They may take too many tasks on; try to avoid tasks and thus leave them until the last minute or they may be so overcome with worry/anxiety that they become forgetful. In order to remedy the situation, they must first identify why their punctuality is so poor.

 3. Absenteeism

behavioural symptoms of stress absenteeism

Stressed individuals tend to regularly miss work. They may be trying to avoid a difficult situation or they may be suffering the consequences of one of their coping mechanisms e.g. alcohol.

 4. Withdrawal

behavioural symptoms of stress withdrawal

Withdrawal is a common behavioural symptom of stress. The individual’s self-esteem and confidence may have taken a hit and as a consequence, they may no longer feel capable of coping with social situations. In order to protect their fragile confidence, they may choose to avoid all such situations.

 5. Exhaustion

behavioural symptoms of stress exhaustion

If we are to maximise our energy, one of the most important things for us to do is to balance our physical energy. There will be times when we are required to work at our maximum output for sustained periods. In order to do this we must implement periods of deep rest which enables both our body and mind to recover. Failure to do so can eventually result in burnout and chronic fatigue. The stressed individual may feel like they are constantly running from one emergency to another and thus fail to take the time to rest and recuperate. Constant fatigue is often a sign that someone is overwhelmed and experiencing stress.

 6. Addictive/excessive behaviour

behavioural symptoms of stress addictive behaviour

Those experiencing stress often don’t realise that it is stress which they are experiencing. Where they do realise this, they often have no idea how to deal with stress.  This can result in short term solutions which, though they have a temporary impact, have damaging long-term consequences. One of the most common coping mechanisms for dealing with difficulty is alcohol. While alcohol can have temporary benefit, it can be highly addictive and it fails to resolve the situation. Other coping mechanisms include smoking, illegal and prescription drugs.

 7. Unhealthy eating habits

behavioural symptoms of stress unhealthy eating

Comfort food is often sought as a solution to stressful situations. Indulging in convenience foods can make you feel better temporarily and saves time, however, these foods are rich in salt, sugar and fat which can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and heart related illnesses.

While we associate comfort eating with stress, some people have the opposite response to stressful situation i.e. they avoid eating. They may be experiencing a suppressed appetite, they may have developed a negative self image or they may have developed negative associations with food. Whatever the reason, the consequences of food avoidance can be every bit as devastating as the consequences of food indulgence.

 8. Risk-taking behaviour

behavioural symptoms of stress risk

A sudden development of risk taking behaviour can be a clear sign of stress. Individuals may be experiencing a low sense of self-worth or a lack of excitement in their lives.  They need a ‘buzz’ in their life and are willing to take bigger risks in order to get that buzz. Unfortunately, they level of risk they need to take to get the ‘buzz’ may increase steadily over time. They fail to see that as the risk gets bigger, so too do the potential consequences. Gambling is a common behavioural symptom of stress, which falls within this category.  Certain extreme sports and reckless driving are some of the other symptoms of stress which may fall under risk-taking behaviour.

 9. Accidents

behavioural symptoms of stress accident

Concentration tends to suffer greatly when one experiences stress.  In certain work places (generally more manual industries) this may result in a high number of accidents both fatal and non-fatal. Along with reduced concentration, the individual may also be overworked, poorly trained, displaying risk-taking behaviour or denied sufficient rest periods; all of which may be contributory factors in the stress.

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 10. High turnover in the workplace

behavioural symptoms of stress high turnover

Stressed employees are generally unhappy in their work situation. Sadly, many workplaces have not put the necessary training and procedures in place which would allow the employee to discuss their experience with their manager so that they may work together to find a solution. Rather than raise the issue, many stressed employees will choose to seek employment elsewhere.

 11. Suicidal talk or behaviour

behavioural symptoms of stress suicidal

Stress can diminish an individual’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth to the point where they feel that they cannot go on. In many such cases we do not get the opportunity to help the individual but in some cases they do drop subtle hints of their intentions. There are courses, such as ASIST, which can help to improve your chances of spotting these signs and intervening.

If you feel that you may be experiencing stress, check out Stress Free Living.

Many people feel too embarrassed or ashamed to openly discuss their experiences with stress. It is, therefore, essential that we familiarise ourselves with the behavioural symptoms of stress so that we may be able to identify what they are going through and remind them that the channels of communication are open and that we were willing to help them, or help them find more suitable help. You may in fact be experiencing stress yourself. It may be helpful to regularly remind yourself of the behavioural symptoms of stress so that you can identify it early and take appropriate action.

The 80/20 Principle…

I am a firm believer in the 80/20 principle.

It tells us that approx. 80% of our results come from approx. 20% of our actions.

The percentages are not always such but they are always heavily skewed in a manner which tells that very few of our actions produce most of our outcomes.

This tells us two things:

  1. We need to dedicate more time, energy and attention to the people and actions which produce the best outcomes for us.
  2. Most of our actions, and the people in our lives add very little, if any value to our lives.

If you think about the second point, you could cut out most of the actions and people from your life and your life would improve.

Less is more when the less is the stuff that really matters.

If you are like the average person, the following is probably true for you:

  • You spend too much time doing things which don’t need to be done
  • You spend too much time doing things which others should be doing
  • You spend too much time doing things because others want you to do them
  • You don’t spend enough time on the things which bring you the best results and most joy and happiness
  • You give too much time and attention to people who don’t add real value to your life
  • You don’t give enough time to the people who add the most value to your life

How much better would your life be if you sorted all that out?

There are 2 key steps to doing so and; you can make a start on both simultaneously.

  1. Identify the actions and people which bring the most joy and happiness into your life and dedicate more time to them.
  2. Make that time available by decluttering your life and removing the actions and people which add little or no joy and happiness to your life.

People forget about the importance of decluttering but the 80/20 principle also tells us that 5% of the people in your life will contribute about 50% of the people-related problems.

The same is likely true for actions and possessions.

So, start decluttering your life today and reap the rewards.

If you need help decluttering, this great resource will help.

We lost each other……

I could ask you to stay,
But there’s really nothing left to say.

This break up has been emotional and long,
But I know I’m strong.

I guess we naturally grew apart,
But it still hurts in my heart.

We went days without speaking or sending a text,
And all I could wonder what was next.

There were times we couldn’t look each other in the eye.
How did we get this far, and why did something so special have to die?

As I write this, memories flood me.
They remind of all we used to be.

Even when things we’re bad, I never thought this relationship would end.
Our broken hearts I thought we could mend.

Now you’ve left without a goodbye.
I’ve got no energy to even cry.

I knew it was over when we started doing things on our own.
You got so distant and I was alone.

I tired getting you to notice that I was still there,
But you made up your mind and didn’t care.

There’s many nights when you’re all that’s on my mind.
I hope happiness is what you find.

There are days when I just can’t get out of bed.
But “try” is what you always said.

So every day I try to put on a smile.
Even if it’s not a real one for a while.

We were together for so many years, so do you ever shed tears?
I know I’ve got to let you go,

And someday I will,
But mixed emotions are what I feel.

We both made our fair share of mistakes.
It feels like I’m drowning in sadness, anger, and resentment, all in different lakes.

I honestly wish you nothing but the best
As my strength and endurance is put to the test.

Characteristics of a Bad Leader

Characteristics of a Bad Leader

We have all been on the receiving end of bad leadership and that in itself is not a bad thing because we can learn from it. What is most important is to understand the underlying forces at work in bad senior leaders.

Much has been written to tell us about the “top traits of a bad boss” or “how to deal with an awful boss.” There is some great information here that should not be ignored and the ideas presented in them help us understand the “bad boss.” But they are generally focused on failing junior and middle-level leaders and managers.

Senior leaders who are bad at leading, bring a significant dimension of trouble in an organization. While this may be obvious on the surface of the statement, what leads to it may not seem so clear.

There are three crucial factors that are at play with understanding the success or failure of a senior leader: 1) Senior Leader Character, 2) Leadership Style, and 3) their Followers.

Senior Leader Character: Many senior leaders fail because they do not have a calling to leadership. This is a lack of passion. They also rely on their own skills to do everything and are generally blind to their inadequacies and drive. Frequently they see their position in terms of privilege and power (although they don’t admit it), and will ignore the advice of others. They are essentially unprepared for leadership and are unwilling to be held accountable for their conduct.

Leadership Style: Bad senior leaders also fail to have the proper vision or any vision at all for their organization. Vision must be methodically established and pursued on behalf of the organization … not as a response to competitors, organization problems, or personal factors. The strategic vision also helps to determine leadership style because it must be pursued vigorously. Those senior leaders who pursue a vision for the wrong reasons (e.g., personal gain) will be more inclined to value employee obedience over creativity.

Their Followers: Leadership involves the interplay between the skills of the leader, the needs of the organization, and the demands of the business. Employees/followers will act according to these factors by accepting or rejecting a leader and following the senior leader willfully or mechanically. People look for leadership and guidance, and when not provided, will react to reject those in leadership positions.

There have been a number of 360-degree feedback surveys in Fortune 500 companies and the results published. The results are helpful and are indicative of the issues discussed. Here are just a few examples of bad leaders:

  • Lack of direction (improper or no vision)
  • Lack of energy and enthusiasm (no passion)
  • Have poor judgement (poor decision-making processes)
  • Don’t collaborate (sees no need to enlist the assistance of others)
  • Resist new ideas (obedience is valued over creativity and hard work)
  • Lack interpersonal skills (also unwilling to improve social skills)
  • Don’t develop others (interested for themselves, not others)

Recognizing that the characteristics of a bad senior leader as the product of all three factors (Senior Leader Character, Leadership Style, and Followers), helps us understand better how to put solutions in place. Leaders must be aware of this to begin putting the organization on the right track for future survival.

 

THE SADNESS OF UNCERTAINTY

THE SADNESS OF UNCERTAINTY

The sadness of uncertainty
Troubles tomorrow-
We live without knowing what will be
We dream and cannot know when and how
The world will bring us to a different place-
We try to feel we have our lives in our hands
But they go to places we never thought of-

Unthinking Reality
Is our portion
And what we become
A mystery we ourselves
Can only partly understand
Even in retrospect.

TACTICAL DISPOSITIONS

To secure ourselves against defeats lies in our own hands but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself…. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat…
 
Security Against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive….. He who cannot conquer takes the defensive…
💪💪💪💪💪
 
STOP BEING DEFENSIVE, MANEUVER DIRECT AND INDIRECT TO WITHSTAND THE BRUNT OF THE ENEMY’S ATTACK AND REMAIN UNSHAKEN…
 
GOOD NIGHT GOOD PEOPLE…🤔🤔

TACTICAL DISPOSITIONS

To secure ourselves against defeats lies in our own hands but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself…. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat…
 
Security Against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive….. He who cannot conquer takes the defensive…
💪💪💪💪💪
 
STOP BEING DEFENSIVE, MANEUVER DIRECT AND INDIRECT TO WITHSTAND THE BRUNT OF THE ENEMY’S ATTACK AND REMAIN UNSHAKEN…
 
GOOD NIGHT GOOD PEOPLE…🤔🤔