Stress may strike you in many forms. Some are very overt triggers, while others are not. And understanding how multiple sources of stress in your life act in concert to create your own individualized risk and resiliency profile is even more complex.

Your health and wellness cannot be compartmentalized as your stress level has many consequences for your organization’s health. It’s a well known fact that chronic stress plays a central role in the development of stress-related physical and mental health challenges, cognitive functioning, professional and personal relationships, and the ability to see life with optimism, hope and energy. This, in turn, manifests itself in terms of direct and indirect costs as well as detrimental effects on the work environment.

This is one of the main reasons why today’s employers are interested in their employees’ abilities to handle stress and burnout as a worker’s wellness drives the organization’s overall performance.

To tackle this phenomenon head on, your company’s comprehensive approach to stress management requires a thorough understanding of the many sources of stress in your life—your physical and mental health, your professional and personal relationships, and your overall capacity to function optimally—as well an appreciation of all the sources of support and resilience. Only after gaining an accurate understanding and awareness of your stress profile can a meaningful comprehensive wellness plan be created that positively impacts your mind, body, relationships and performance.

Consider the following integral steps to raising awareness and spurring meaningful progress:

What Does My Risk Profile Look Like?

Gaining an accurate awareness of your stress risk and resiliency profile in your professional and personal life is an important initial step toward enhanced wellness. With respect to your professional life, for example, consider factors such as workload, level of control, job demands, role ambiguity, and compensation and advancement opportunities.

How Well Am I Taking Care Of Myself?

Often we find that our self-care may be quite good in some areas of our lives and neglected in others. Evaluate what you are currently doing to manage your stress professionally and personally. Take a holistic approach to your self-assessment because a balanced lifestyle is central to effective self-care. The more balanced we are, the more we are able to cope with the stresses and demands that we face.

What Is My Stress Symptom Profile?

Now consider your individual profile of stress symptoms and effects, focusing on physical health challenges such as stress-related illness and disease, and mental health consequences such as depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse.

Where Do I Go From Here?

To succeed in enhancing your individual wellness and, in turn, your organization’s health, you must build a comprehensive lifestyle that supports and sustains you through work and personal stresses. If you are going to be a productive, active, effective person and teammate, you need to be well nourished at all levels.

The author correctly states that, “We need to clearly understand that for both individuals and organizations to flourish, we must treat our individual and collective wellness as a central operational imperative.”

Source: Megan Cleghorn and Patricia Fisher | Addressing Workplace Stress: A Comprehensive Wellness Imperative for Individuals and Their Organizations | July 2, 2013 |

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