Stress: What’s It Costing You?

Stress is Costing American Business Big Dollars and Costing You Your Mental Health

According to a recent study done by Mental Health America (formerly National Mental Health Association) stress now costs industry $500 billion annually in sick days, lost productivity, absenteeism and turnover.  One third of study respondents miss 2-30 days a month because of a stressful work environment.  As many as 10% of US employees miss work several days a month due to stress.  80- 90% of all doctors’ visits are stress-related.

For you personally, stress may be costing you in these ways:The cost of stress
illness and body aches and pains
lost sleep, which is dangerous to your health
declined performance when others around you may be difficult to work with
eating the wrong foods
smoking, drinking or other less than healthy habits
less patience and more frustration
less energy to do the things you want to do
• lowered overall well-being

6 Ways to Reduce Stress Right Now

1. Whatever you’re doing, get up out of your seat.  Sitting too long is a major health hazard. Walk around.  Drink a glass of water. Most of us (80% of North Americans) are dehydrated, which reduces your energy and can cause back pain and headaches.

2.  Close your eyes. Take three deep belly breaths.  Picture a beautiful peaceful place and see yourself there.  Spend a few minutes imaging it.  Use this as reference point in stressful situations.

3. Ask yourself, “What would be fun for me this week?”  What are some of your favorite activities or hobbies? Pick one and schedule it in for sometime this week and don’t cancel it for any reason.  Doing more of what you love makes you happier.

4. Take a break from your devices tonight.  No email, no surfing the net, no comparing yourself to others on social media.  Let your mind have some technology-free down time.  It’s amazing what creative ideas come to you when you stop all the distractions.

5. Spend time with someone that brings you joy.  An hour, an evening, a weekend.  The more joy you can bring into your life, the happier you will be. Laugh together and your stress levels will go way down.

6. Ask yourself, “Who can I help this week?” And then do it.  Kindness benefits the giver as much, if not more, than the recipient.

You can manage your stress and avoid being one of the statistics above.  It’s all about choices and priorities.  Take care of yourself first and focus on joy and laughter.

Wishing you peace-


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