Originally Posted on August 12, 2005
We all experienced this before.
It's mid-term time and you know you're doing fine in your classes. You study like mad day and night to make sure you're ready for your exams. You take your tests. Then, a week later...your grades arrive lower than you've thought. Yes, you've studied hard enough, but...
So, you work almost around the clock to make sure you get the grades necessary to raise your GPA. You put all of your emphasis on the final exams, forgetting about the small things you need to do, such as food and laundry.
OK...how about this. You worked for a year at your company and your review is up. Your boss, among others, have been praising you for a great job since you've been hired. Sure, you've made a couple of mistakes, but those mistakes weren't critical enough to get you fired. The day comes and your boss calls you into his office to discuss your review. Not only does he rip you to shreds over those incidents, but the pay raise is much lower than you normally get.
So, you work five times as hard, putting in overtime, to show your boss that you are more than capable of performing your job competently. You want a better raise, so you try to help out in everybody's department to get your name out in the firm.
These two scenarios are dangerous examples of a common problem we have amongst us: stress. Not a day goes by when one of us feels the most common disease amongst people in industrialized nations.
Why are we dealing with stress so much? Because stress was never a real issue until the late 1970's and we always knew about stress since we were kids. Secondly, because we are finding that there's stress beyond school and work. People get stressed out in the bear clubs, the bars, relationships, friendships, etc.
I took in Arlington, Virginia in October, 1997 on how to deal with stress. It was quite informative and opened up my eyes on plenty of scenarios I have been doing (and, sadly, still do) that can lead to cronic stress.
Let me point out a few facts about stress that I recalled from that seminar:
The five common causes of stress are:
1. Failure to start early enough any project, task or errand.
2. Misunderstandings due to unclear communications.
3. Lack of someone checking your work or tasks.
4. Failure to follow through after delegating a task.
5. Failure to make contingency plans, if you've failed to do something.
Facts about stress:
1. 70% of all doctor visits in the USA are stress related. (This could be true in other countries)
2. You cannot get rid of stress, you can only manage it.
3. The final stage of stress is death!
What you can do to avoid burnout?
1. Learn to laugh at everything.
2. Form of circle of your allies...never surround yourself with negative people.
3. Pay attention to your health.
4. Do something for yourself...take care of your personal needs, wants, etc.
Even today, I keep hearing this line from people: "oh, you're too young to have any stress." That's not true. We've been having some form of stress since we started elementary school. We cannot avoid it, nor be in denial of having it. We simply must live with it and deal with it.
And, yes, some of us can have heart attacks and strokes.
I hope that a lot of you can identify with these issues and relate what you can from this to your lives.