Get to know your stress – when do you need help?
We all feel stressed sometimes, it’s completely natural and actually good in the right dose. But when the stress turns into something long-term or is irrational and destructive, it’s time to pull the handbrake and reflect on your situation.
Basically, stress is a protective mechanism to protect us against dangers and threats – that is, something that we need to cope with challenges and be able to perform in pressured situations.
– Stress has helped humans protect themselves from dangers for hundreds of thousands of years, ever since we were hunters and gatherers on the savannah. By having a stress attack, the heart beat faster and was able to pump more blood to the muscles so that the body would have the strength to flee or attack, says Fredrik Bengtsson, psychologist at the insurance company Euro Accident and continues:
– In modern society, the brain reacts in the same way as on the savannah, but the situations that trigger the stress reaction are often no longer linked to physical survival but to psychological needs.
Negative stress can lead to ill health
But perhaps you notice that the body and your organs continue to run at high speed even when there is no longer any particular reason? The heart pumps faster, the adrenaline spurts, the breathing becomes faster and the muscles tense, while rest is lacking. Then it is probably negative and long-term stress that is triggered by the brain experiencing your situation as constantly threatening. This the brain interprets as you need the stress boost to get the strength to create a change where it can become safe again.
– An excessively high workload in combination with own and others’ demands on availability and delivery can result in the stress turning into a state of exhaustion.
Keep track of the stress with traffic lights
Getting rid of your stress is in most cases easier said than done. It’s not about eliminating stress, but rather finding a balance and taking control of it. As a reflection tool, the “traffic light of stress” can be useful.
– Traffic lights, as you know, make traffic safer and more controlled. In the same way, you can establish the system to measure your stress. If you feel green, you are probably safe and mentally present. Yellow indicates stressed and frustrated, while red indicates that the nervous system is overwhelmed by stress, he explains and continues:
– A tip is to set aside half an hour every Friday afternoon before you shut down for the weekend where you reflect on how you feel and how the week has been. By writing down your thoughts and feelings, clarity is created about what you need to do or when it’s time to seek help.
Review your situation if red
Fredrik Bengtsson believes that it is normal to oscillate between green and yellow for most people and it is only when yellow starts to move towards red that you need to review your situation.
– If you don’t know what to do in that situation, you need to seek help by talking to a friend, for example, using self-help tools or a psychologist. If you identify as red, you have likely developed a state of exhaustion, depression or severe anxiety with severe stress symptoms that have been going on for a long time. Then the recommendation is to seek professional help.
Health insurance can make a difference
As an extra security marker for both employees and employers, health insurance can make a difference when stress is present in the workplace.
– Through our health insurance PlanSjuk, we can help those who are in the red zone and need direct help with call support where we bring out the right tools. We work with long-term health and not just symptom relief. It is simply unnecessary to let it go as far as sick leave, when it can be resolved before then. It is together that we can create sustainable employees, he concludes.
The article is produced by Brand Studio in collaboration with Euro Accident and not an article by Dagens industri