“Worrying is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”

– Anonymous

Stress is a killer. Be it work productivity or your personal development, unchecked stress has the potential to wreak havoc on every aspect of your life. With an array of adverse effects including depression, heart attack and severe body ache, stress derails your life in far too many ways.

Stress begets stress, creating a spiral effect that is all-too-easy to fall into. Unfortunately, pulling yourself out is usually much more difficult.

When it comes to workplace stress, no one can afford to get lost in the spiral effect. That’s because anxiety doesn’t stay in one part of your life, it carries over into every aspect. It’s an all-consuming problem that has the potential to cripple your work and personal life until everything is in tatters.

If you think you are falling into the spiral effect, begin to remedy the problem today:

Warning Signs and Results of Falling Into the Spiral Effect

The first step to end the spiral is to recognize it. Without knowing what to look for, you are sure to remain lost. Some of the clearest indicators of stress in the workplace include:

  • Decreasing physical appearance (sick, listless, decreased demeanor)
  • Declining judgment, work quality and time management
  • Irritability and shortness with others

Office and personal life stress are unavoidable, but they shouldn’t be a constant in an your life. It destroys even the most mentally strong person. It can be hard to spot these signs when you get lost in the effect. That’s why it’s paramount that you remain as aware as possible when it comes to your well being.

Freeing yourself from a deep spiral is a long, hard and uncertain road to recovery. Not only does the business lose a talented member of its team when you fall into the spiral, you face a series of hurdles that can severely hinder you. If this happens, parting ways with your employer can soon become the only resolution. You can’t let that happen.

As a leader, the company’s bottom line is certainly of the utmost importance. However, my first concern when I see that my team is stressed is their health. Stress hurts relationships of all kinds. If your team isn’t healthy, expect to see little to no production from them. The same goes for yourself.

Sure, you may shine in a grace under fire scenario, but it will eventually burn you out once it becomes an ever-present fixture in your life. In a professional fight or flight scenario, you can only choose to fight for so long. Eventually, you will opt to fly for your own well-being.

In the end, your health affects bottom lines. From company finance to personal fitness, it can all go down thanks to stress. Remain attentive to your overall well-being first and foremost.

Snapping the Spiral

60% to 80% of primary care doctor visits stem from stress. With only 3% of those patients receiving stress management help, you can help yourself by reducing unnecessary stress with some modifications.

Now that you know some of the warning signs, it’s time to become self-aware so you can:

  • Understand how stress might be affecting you
  • Recognize if it’s hurting your team
  • Always remember that you can snap the spiral

There’s no clear-cut path to remedying stress in the workplace, but thinking about overall health is a good place to start. Preparing both mentally and physically is an excellent proactive approach. This includes healthy food options, exercise and taking a moment for yourself when needed. Consider the 8-minute Ready, Set, Pause method if you’re crunched for time. Taking these steps improves your mind and body. Giving your body the proper rest and nutrients it needs provides you a foundation for mental stability.

If nutrition and activity don’t produce results, it may be time to bring a professional into the equation. A therapist can provide you an outlet to speak your mind when you feel that the office doesn’t allow that freedom. If you aren’t comfortable with speaking to a professional, reach out to your friends and family. Don’t sit and stew in stress. That leads to rumination and further mental decline.

I recommend following these steps before the warning signs begin. Preventative measures turn into a habit after 21 days. Doing it alone often doesn’t work. Make the changes as a team–especially if the spiral is hurting your collective team. If you find yourself having trouble getting started, pick up The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. You can make the change. You need to make the change.

Once you enter the spiral effect, making these changes become more difficult, but it can still be fixed. Try these measures. Consider trying multiple options to see what works best for everyone.

Today is the day to begin the change. In due time, your body and team will likely thank you for your efforts.