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Did you know that according to stress.org in 2019 83% of Americans experienced stress in the workplace? On top of that, almost one quarter reported that their stress was unreasonably high. The rest of the world sees Americans as workaholics, and wonder about the effects of stress on people and the resulting productivity.
Stress can lead to poor medical and emotional health. It's been linked to depression, anxiety, lower immune system response, and high blood pressure to name a few. High blood pressure is of particular concern because it can lead to more serious medical conditions.
So how do you control or prevent high blood pressure when the workplace is so full of stress? You'll be surprised to learn there are options other than medications with a litany of harmful side effects.
You've probably had your blood pressure taken before. They put the cuff on your arm, pump it full of air, and put a stethoscope on your arm. That's usually where your knowledge ends and the magic begins.
Somehow, they get two numbers from this mystical process, a systolic reading and diastolic reading. In simple terms, they represent the level of pressure your arteries are under with every beat of your heart.
Normal readings would put your systolic number or upper reading below 120. Your diastolic number or lower reading would be below 80. Your blood pressure is considered elevated when your systolic number falls within 120 and 129 and your diastolic number is still below 80.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is when your blood pressure rises above these normal ranges. High blood pressure is normal during high stress situations, like a fight or flight response. But over time these stress hormones can cause health problems. There are three stages of hypertension.
Stage 1 Hypertension is when either your systolic number rises between 130 and 139 or your diastolic number rises between 80 and 89. Notice the either/or designation. You don't need both to be elevated to have high blood pressure, and while they normally rise together, they don't always.
Stage 2 Hypertension is when either your systolic number rises between 140 and 179 or your diastolic number rises between 90 and 119.
Stage 3 Hypertension is when either your systolic number rises above 180 or your diastolic number rises above 120. If this happens you should get to a doctor right away.
Doctors will recommend a variety of lifestyle changes to combat your high blood pressure and chronic stress symptoms, but the truth is they rely on medicine to control it for you. This is because it's easier to take a pill every day for most people than changing behaviors learned over decades.
High blood pressure is caused by a variety of factors, not the least of which is stress. Age plays a role, as do diet, regular exercise, alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of sleep, obesity, or you can be predisposed genetically.
You can't control your age or genetics but you can change your other habits to give yourself a chance, especially during difficult times. But what about stress? How do you change your stress response under the pressures of life and work?
There are anxiety medications you can take but these have side effects that can lead to poor quality of life and poor productivity at work. If you experience anxiety often you should have a depression test administered. You need a way to relieve stress that doesn't hamper your lifestyle or mental well-being.
At IntelliStress, our scientific approach to controlling stress focuses on identifying the behavioral, emotional, and cognitive reasons causing your stress. We then develop a plan to address them through life and leadership coaching. We offer a three-stage program designed to help you lower your stress.
You can take advantage of our free 45-minute exploratory phone conversation with one of our stress coaches. They will evaluate your work and life stressors and identify the signs and symptoms in your life.
This introductory session comes with no obligation. You'll simply learn what makes you stress out. If you are a leader at work you are prone to emotional burnout, undergo physical symptoms, and worry about the long-term effects of your high-stress environment.
After identifying your stress points they will explain the negative effect stress is causing you at work. They will present you with powerful concepts to alter behavior and perspective to overcome your stress points. Then you'll discuss your future goals and plot a course together to manage your life and work to reduce or eliminate your stress.
This program is particularly helpful to those workplace leaders. Whether you are a senior executive, an office manager, or shift leader you can benefit from our Virtual Leadership Assessment. Our assessments target your stress points by analyzing your symptoms and identifying your competencies within your workspace.
Our research shows that highly effective leaders have a deep understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. We will work with you to identify these so we can develop a strategy to meet the demands of your job while lowering your stress.
IntelliStress assessments will identify, compile, and produce a personalized plan to lower your stress and improve your performance. The result is you will become a better worker and you and your team will be more successful in your careers.
The assessments measure five areas of emotional intelligence and 25 leadership skills. Your personal coach will review the results to help you understand where your stress is coming from and how to lower or eliminate your stress. They'll also expose you to leadership insights to address your current challenges in your workplace and home life.
Now that we've identified the signs and symptoms of stress, your leadership coach will implement a Personalized Leadership Coaching program that is uniquely yours, addressing your work and personal goals. These sessions will hone your leadership skills for maximum returns. You'll get positive results at home and work while learning helpful ways to eliminate ongoing stressful barriers and relieve chronic stress symptoms.
It costs money too, to the tune of over $300 billion every year in the United States. Over one million workers miss work each day due to stress in the workplace. This absenteeism costs employers billions of dollars every year.
Whether you are already one of these workers or you think you might become one you should contact us today to gain management over your stress and lower your blood pressure. Life is short so start addressing your stress now.