Making Gratitude Your Attitude: Why You Need Gratitude At Work

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Making Gratitude Your Attitude: Why You Need Gratitude At Work

By Allen Brouwer

In life, whether personally or professionally, it’s important to show gratitude with those you interact with. But what change will it make at work? Can gratitude really make a difference? We think so. Not only does displaying gratitude show signs of character and class, but it can also contribute to your rise on the ladder of success…

95% of Americans polled were all in agreement that grateful people are more fulfilled and lead richer lives. Part of that fulfillment comes from having success in personal and professional interactions. In the book, The Power of Thanks,  Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine lay out 14 reasons why being grateful can bring success, spanning two decades of global research. Some of which include:

  • Grateful people achieve more-citing their increased determination, enthusiasm and academic achievement.
  • Grateful people are less likely to burn out-managers especially fared well here since providing recognition and appreciation helps them stay energized for their own positions.
  • Giving creates a positive feedback loop-Taken from a study performed by Harvard Business School, “Happier people give more and giving makes people happier, such that happiness and giving may operate in a positive feedback loop (with happier people giving more, getting happier, and giving even more.”

As William Arthur Ward put it, “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” You could have Thanksgiving every day! Who’s gonna turn that down?

For the full article, go to the original site.

If you would like help developing more gratitude, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.

 

How Work and Health Can Go Together

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How Work and Health Can Go Together 

By Leigh Stringer

Lots of us experience stressful moments at work, but do you actually know what’s happening biologically in your body when you experience stress—and what that means for your ability to make decisions? Learn more below.

Reduce Stress, Increase Focus

I went rock climbing for the first time recently. I consider myself a fairly athletic person, but this activity definitely took me out of my comfort zone. Despite being “on belay,” or harnessed, and in the hands of an expert on the ground below, I got about 75 percent up a 50-foot climbing wall and just froze. I was out of breath, mentally and physically taxed, a little freaked out, and I just could not figure out how to get any further up the wall. My arms and legs just could not reach any more of those tiny colored knobs. At this point, having no other options, I stopped for a minute on a rock crevice, took some giant yoga breaths, and looked around at the beautiful scenery around me. I was surrounded by the Sonoran Desert—full of cactus plants and the Santa Catalina Mountains. The quiet of nature sunk in and I thought about the spectacular view.

Then, amazingly, after about a minute of focused breathing, I found the mental and physical strength to figure out a new climbing route and make it to the top. For me, this was a great lesson in “taking a breather when things get tough.” Now, when work gets stressful—and it can get really stressful sometimes—I take a few deep yoga breaths and look outside or maybe take a short walk. I learned later that this deep breathing produces what’s called a relaxation response in the body that is important for getting your brain to focus on being productive, not stay in permanent “fight, flight, or freeze” mode.

Most of the time, stress is talked about as a negative thing, but the truth is that not all stress is bad. All animals have a stress response, which can be lifesaving in some situations. The nerve chemicals and hormones released during such stressful times prepare animals like us to face a threat or flee to safety. When we face a dangerous situation, our pulses quicken, we breathe faster, our muscles tense, and our brains use more oxygen and increase activity—all functions aimed at survival. In the short term, stress can even boost our immune system.

Problems occur if the stress response goes on too long, such as when the source of stress is constant, or if the response continues after the danger has subsided. Over time, continued strain on our bodies from routine stress can lead to serious health problems, such as anxiety disorder, depression, digestive issues, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory and concentration impairment.

The thing about stress that is really counterproductive for the workplace is that it shuts down our ability to be creative and to make calm, thoughtful decisions. When we are stressed, we get very reactive and tense. Have you ever been really stressed out at the office—with your phone ringing off the hook while you are simultaneously responding to seven emails and you have someone waiting for something standing by your desk—and you thought, “Wow, I just had a brilliant insight and I’m going to reflect on that for a minute”?

No, this probably did not happen, because when we encounter a perceived threat—our boss yells at us or we are under a deadline, for instance—our hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of the brain, sets off an alarm system in the body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts our adrenal glands, located by the kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline increases heart rate, elevates blood pressure, and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances the brain’s use of glucose, and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system, and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of the brain that control mood, motivation, and fear.

Making calm, thoughtful decisions when we are stressed out is just about physically impossible. Fortunately, there are many ways to calm down and reverse the crazy hormonal party happening in our bodies. The key to stress is to understand how it affects us physiologically and then manage it in a productive way.

Is Work Unhappiness All in Your Mind?

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Is Work Unhappiness All in Your Mind?

By Linda Mintle

Jeff has been struggling to go to work everyday. He desperately needs his job to pay bills and provide for his family, but this past year, he has grown disenchanted with his work environment. So much so, that he thinks about quitting. He knows he can’t and feels trapped in an unhappy job.

Being unhappy at work, can spill over to family life. Even in a tough economy, no one likes to be in a job that makes him or her unhappy. But happiness on the job may relate to something you never expected—your ability to stay present. Yes, happiness has everything to do with what is going on in your mind.

Think of all the times you find yourself distracted at work–you worry over a deadline, are upset with a co-worker, wonder what you will make for dinner, are mentally scheduling your next dental appointment, etc.  Worry and thinking about the future are distracting. This mental habit can take your focus off the task at hand and create such distraction that you find yourself not engaging in the here and now. And when you are not here and now focused, you risk your happiness.

Harvard researchers discovered that if your mind wanders during work, this could be the source of on-the-job unhappiness. And according to the researchers, our minds wander about 47% of the time anyway.

In the Harvard study that utilized an iPHONE app and received feedback from more than 15,000 people from countries all over the world, mind wandering occurred on the job about 50% of the time.

What the researchers concluded was that we humans spend a great deal of time thinking about things that are not happening in the moment. And apparently, a wandering mind is an unhappy mind–something religious groups have thought to be true for years. We are reminded by Jesus not to worry about tomorrow and to remember that God is with us at every step of our earthly journey.

So if you want to get happy on the job, stay in the moment and let go of worry. Worry is future focused and steals our joy and contributes to job unhappiness.

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If you would like to talk to someone about your work stress, worry, and/or unhappiness, please call CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or a counselor.

 

Recognize the Spirituality of Work

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Recognize the Spirituality of Work

By Donald Whitney

Bill often wonders whether he is a second-class Christian because of the less-than-Christian atmosphere where he works. His occupation is good and necessary for society, but it’s also one in which liars, cheats, and thieves seem to flourish. Vulgar and blasphemous language typically fills the air of Bill’s workplace.

For other believers, the problem at work is not a godless environment; it’s the gnawing lack of meaning to their labor. They trudge through tedious days on a job that often feels intolerably unimportant.

Can followers of Jesus work in these conditions and still maintain a close relationship with Him? Or is the Lord somewhat disappointed in them because of where they work or what they do?

God ordained work. Before sin entered the world, “the Lord God took the man [Adam] and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). People must grow food, care for children, make clothes, tend the sick, construct buildings and roads, transport goods, govern the cities, and so forth.

Obviously, therefore, God intends for most people to devote themselves to what’s often called “secular” employment. Only a small percentage should be vocational pastors, church-planting missionaries, and the like (even though more are needed). Otherwise, who’d work the fields, deliver the mail, build ships and cars, develop water systems, and make medicines?

Because God has ordained it, all work has a spiritual dimension. The Bible repeatedly commends useful, honest labor (see Ephesians 4:28; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:10), which shows God’s intense interest in it.  When we actively recognize His presence in our workplace, we acknowledge His sovereignty over all of life. And that’s basic to true spirituality.

Even if your daily responsibilities seem dull and unimportant, or cause you to associate with and support worldly, God-hating people, remember that “the Lord takes pleasure in His people” (Psalm 149:4). And He takes pleasure in us not just at church, but at work, too. He’s as attentive to us in our work routines as He as to Joseph in his service as Potiphar’s slave, to Jesus in the carpentry shop, and to the apostle Paul when he was making tents.

Work is not a hindrance to spirituality; it is a part of it. Even slaves were instructed by Paul not to fear that their awful condition in any way diminished their spiritual standing with God (see 1 Corinthians 7:22). Our spirituality depends upon who who are in Christ, not the circumstances of our workplace. God’s presence and favor are not limited by coworkers or job descriptions.

Enlarge your vision of your spiritual life to include your daily work. “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of inheritance; for your serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). Present your work to God. You are working for Him.

Taken from Donald S. Whitney, Simplify Your Spiritual Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2003), 155-156.

Coping with Stress at Work

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Coping with Stress at Work

by APA

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Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming — and harmful to both physical and emotional health. There are many ways to deal with stress, from trying to relax with meditation to take supplements such as Zach Attack Supplements there are mention options out there for those who are dealing with it.

Unfortunately such long-term stress is all too common. In 2012, 65 percent of Americans cited work as a top source of stress, according to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) annual Stress in America Survey. Only 37 percent of Americans surveyed said they were doing an excellent or very good job managing stress.

A 2013 survey by APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence also found that job-related stress is a serious issue. More than one-third of working Americans reported experiencing chronic work stress and just 36 percent said their organizations provide sufficient resources to help them manage that stress. Perhaps they should try some stress supplements as CortiTrax helps block it out while also increasing your memory too!

You can’t always avoid the tensions that occur on the job. Yet you can take steps to manage work-related stress.

Common Sources of Work Stress

Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. Some common workplace stressors are:

  • Low salaries.
  • Excessive workloads.
  • Few opportunities for growth or advancement.
  • Work that isn’t engaging or challenging.
  • Lack of social support.
  • Not having enough control over job-related decisions.
  • Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations.

Effects of Uncontrolled Stress

Unfortunately, work-related stress doesn’t just disappear when you head home for the day. When stress persists, it can take a toll on your health and well-being.

In the short term, a stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper and difficulty concentrating. Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. It can also contribute to health conditions such as depression, obesity and heart disease. Compounding the problem, people who experience excessive stress often deal with it in unhealthy ways such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes or abusing drugs and alcohol. If you feel like your quality of life has reduced due to work place stress then you may be able to gain compensation for what you’ve been going through, if you would like to find out more visit this San Diego workers compensation attorney

Taking Steps to Manage Stress

  • Track your stressors. Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. Record your thoughts, feelings and information about the environment, including the people and circumstances involved, the physical setting and how you reacted. Did you raise your voice? Get a snack from the vending machine? Go for a walk? Taking notes can help you find patterns among your stressors and your reactions to them.
  • Develop healthy responses. Instead of attempting to fight stress with fast food or alcohol, do your best to make healthy choices when you feel the tension rise. Exercise is a great stress-buster. Yoga can be an excellent choice, but any form of physical activity is beneficial. Also make time for hobbies and favorite activities. Whether it’s reading a novel, going to concerts or playing games with your family, make sure to set aside time for the things that bring you pleasure. Getting enough good-quality sleep is also important for effective stress management. Build healthy sleep habits by limiting your caffeine intake late in the day and minimizing stimulating activities, such as computer and television use, at night.
  • Establish boundaries. In today’s digital world, it’s easy to feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day. Establish some work-life boundaries for yourself. That might mean making a rule not to check email from home in the evening, or not answering the phone during dinner. Although people have different preferences when it comes to how much they blend their work and home life, creating some clear boundaries between these realms can reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that goes with it.
  • Take time to recharge. To avoid the negative effects of chronic stress and burnout, we need time to replenish and return to our pre-stress level of functioning. This recovery process requires “switching off” from work by having periods of time when you are neither engaging in work-related activities, nor thinking about work. That’s why it’s critical that you disconnect from time to time, in a way that fits your needs and preferences. Don’t let your vacation days go to waste. When possible, take time off to relax and unwind, so you come back to work feeling reinvigorated and ready to perform at your best. When you’re not able to take time off, get a quick boost by turning off your smartphone and focusing your attention on non-work activities for a while.
  • Learn how to relax. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness (a state in which you actively observe present experiences and thoughts without judging them) can help melt away stress. Start by taking a few minutes each day to focus on a simple activity like breathing, walking or enjoying a meal. The skill of being able to focus purposefully on a single activity without distraction will get stronger with practice and you’ll find that you can apply it to many different aspects of your life.
  • Talk to your supervisor. Healthy employees are typically more productive, so your boss has an incentive to create a work environment that promotes employee well-being. Start by having an open conversation with your supervisor. The purpose of this isn’t to lay out a list of complaints, but rather to come up with an effective plan for managing the stressors you’ve identified, so you can perform at your best on the job. While some parts of the plan may be designed to help you improve your skills in areas such as time management, other elements might include identifying employer-sponsored wellness resources you can tap into, clarifying what’s expected of you, getting necessary resources or support from colleagues, enriching your job to include more challenging or meaningful tasks, or making changes to your physical workspace to make it more comfortable and reduce strain.
  • Get some support. Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employer may also have stress management resources available through an employee assistance program (EAP), including online information, available counseling and referral to mental health professionals, if needed. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by work stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist, who can help you better manage stress and change unhealthy behavior.