Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Outside your control

Friday, August 7th, 2009

I had two incidents happen in the last 24hours which left me feeling very uncomfortable.  The first was an update of this blog software which somehow scrambled the formatting and ruin the page.  Next day, I got a couple of letters from the Revenue about about some technical problem, which throws me into their system, and on to the ‘mercy’ of their common sense.  In both cases I have to rely on others expertise to sort me out.  It is not a comfortable feeling to be powerless and completely reliant on others.

The thing is that in companies it is those with the least power who suffer from the most stress for exactly these reasons.  The more you can involve people, and give them some kind of choice, the less stressed they will be.

Managing communications is also key as you don’t want people to feel that you are keeping secrets from them, but nor do you want to alarm them by speaking about things too soon, when everything is vague and up-in-the-air.  It is a very delicate balancing act, and one key is to be as honest as you can, and treat others with respect.  This helps reduce stress and resistance later on.

“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”   Viktor E. Frankl


England expects

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Nelson famously signalled to his fleet on the eve of Trafalgar “England expects that every man will do his duty”. He was hailed as a doughty British hero for this, but most of us get into rather more trouble where our expectations are concerned. We have a world view that cons us into ‘believing’ that everyone is like us (or at least they should be!) We are for some reason constantly caught off-guard when this turns out not to be true, despite our many years of contrary experience.

Even when we have no conscious expectations they are still there beneath the surface, waiting to trip us up. Now I am not unrealistic enough to suggest that we are capable of totally disarming this mechanism but if we could move, even a little way, from expecting to accepting, the world would be a better place and we would be a lot happier.

One of the greatest gifts we can give another human being is our acceptance. We all worry about the burden of others’ expectations and judge ourselves when we believe we have fallen short. It is a blessed relief to know that we are enough, just as we are.

Expectations are also a major cause of stress in our lives. For some reason we expect that yesterday’s dirty, late overcrowded train will today will be on-time, clean and have a seat for us! Once we start dealing with the ‘real’ person in front of us, or the ‘true’ situation in which we find ourselves, we start to be more successful and a good deal more content. Of course, once we have started to offer this to others, we can begin to give ourselves a slice of the same cake….

“Truly loving another means letting go of all expectations. It means full acceptance, even celebration of another’s personhood.” Karen Casey

” Our entire life consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are.” Jean Anouth

Doggy paddling in the River of Time

Friday, April 18th, 2008

I don’t know if any of you have had this experience too. I have mentioned several times recently that I have been trying to take / make some ‘me time’. My first gambit was deciding to stop ‘discretionary’ work activities and expecting this to create space. I wasn’t proactive to talking to clients; I didn’t make any new appointments in the time I had earmarked. That didn’t work. Next I tried actually booking the time into my diary ‘Day Off’. Well as regular readers will know, the first of these days I managed to injure myself and just spent a day laid up and in pain. The next day I had a delivery of some sexy new hardware including two new 22″ monitors. Connecting them should have been a doddle, plug ’em in and turn ’em on. Nope!

I wasn’t able to get the correct maximum resolution and that started another day of wasted time and energy where I downloaded drivers and tried them out, spoke at length to various techies, all to no avail. In the end I contact the graphics card manufacturer who suggested installing latest chipset drivers and bios. This is where it got really nasty! I upgraded the bios and then couldn’t even turn on my machine. Holy Cr@p! More wasted time and lots of unwanted anxiety later, I got some expert help and reset the bios parameters, and I’m back in business.

Today is my second ‘me’ day and I have a daughter who has travelled 300 miles to attend an interview and needs a lift which will consume 3 hours; I have a utility room that apparently needs totally emptying as we have work starting there on Monday…

And I am left doggy paddling in the riptide of time and being swept further and further from the shore. I should mention that I’m pretty organised and good with how I control my time (Though you may now wonder about that!) If this were a rip tide, then the advice is not to fight it, but relax and let it take you in the direction it is going then use your energy to get somewhere safe. I have to say I think this is the right strategy for Time too. I will do what I have to in order to keep things moving. I will keep trying to make some ‘Me space’; in fact, I have just blocked out Monday.

The thing is you have to balance the opposite pulls on you between things you really need to attend to and the need to listen to your body / soul. Failure to do this is probably the major cause of stress in our society.

So if today finds you feeling the need to stop, or just do something different, please do so. If like me you are finding the Universe has other plans for you, then don’t struggle too much, keep your powder dry and use it when you can! I’d love hear your stories and what you do in these situations. Good luck!

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.” Douglas Adams

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Annie Dillard