Friday, 20 April 2012


It may seem that there’s nothing you can do about your stress level. Nigeria is a country on the verge of what I believe to be a positive breakthrough and change for the best, but our present situation is volatile, ever changing, and riddled with many issues. On a personal note, money or no money, the bills aren’t going to stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day for all your errands, and your career or family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think. Think about this, no matter how you fretm worry, or stress, that emotion in itself doesnt change anything!!! Yes you are human and you know what, i encourage everyone to know that there will be times where you need to pick up your boxing gloves or weights and just scream through some situations. However, after releasing all this negative energy, pick yourself up and know’re in control of your life, there is always a solutions to every problem, and everybody on the face of this earth has what they can do to manage stress and remain happy, if they can only first take control of their mind and then implement a stress management plan thats right for them.

Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun – plus the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.

Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines. But maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that leads to deadline stress.

To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:
  • Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”). Do you say with pride " I'm losing my mind from being so busy!" with a sense of pride while in your heart of hearts you know you are decieving yourself and are deeply unhappy?
  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?
If this sounds normal, please at this point, I beg you, look around to see who is sharing this stress with you.... oh its just you?!? Ask yourself, are you happy? fulfilled? satisfied? chances are, the answer will be no. I recently sent out a questionnare asking 100 participants what was the major cause of them missing deadlines, getting to work late, and fighting with coworkeds, 70% answered stress!! 70 out of a 100 people in a random selection were losing vast amounts of time they could be spending happy, productive, and working unhappy, simply because they hadnt accepted that stress was working against them and not for them.

It is important we understand that until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.

Easiest way of identifying stress?... remember that journal for your goals we talked about a while back? chances are it still has a few empty pages!! why not grab it and start a chapter titled:


A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. As you keep a daily log, you will begin to see patterns and common themes. Write down:
  • What caused your stress (make a guess if you’re unsure).
  • How you felt, both physically and emotionally.
  • How you acted in response.
  • What you did to make yourself feel better.

Look at how you currently cope with stress

Think about the ways you currently manage and cope with stress in your life. Your stress journal can help you identify them. Are your coping strategies healthy or unhealthy, helpful or unproductive? Unfortunately, many people cope with stress in ways that compound the problem.

Ok guys, go practice the exercise and meet me up in my next post about how to practically manage your stress.





For workers everywhere in both the private and public sector, factors such as the economy, job layoffs, mergers, and acquisistions, as well as constant change within the office has turned work into an unwanted emotional roller coaster. "Layoffs" and "budget cuts" have become bywords in the workplace, and the result is increased fear, uncertainty, and higher levels of stress. 

What is Stress?
The HSE defines stress as "the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them".

Work-related stress is the result of a conflict between the role and needs of an individual employee and the demands of the workplace resulting in pressure on an individual/team/group/dept/etc.  Physiologically, we are programmed to deal with pressure or threatening situations by producing more adrenaline. This response is only intended to be short-term.

The effect of excessive pressure is to keep the body constantly in such a state, and can lead to physical symptoms of ill health, such as heart disease, as well as longer term psychological damage.

Many of the early outward signs will be noticeable to managers and work colleagues and they include:
ü  Changes in behaviour
ü  Unusual tearfulness, irritability or aggression
ü  Indecisiveness
ü  Increased sickness absence
ü  Poor timekeeping
ü  Reduced performance, e.g. inability to concentrate
ü  Overworking or failure to delegate
ü  Erosion of self-confidence
ü  Relationship problems, e.g. becoming withdrawn or argumentative
ü  Increased unwillingness to co-operate or accept advice

Common triggers of workplace stress

  • Pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction
  • Pressure to work at optimum levels – all the time
  • Long working hours
  • Breakdown in relationships with colleagues or managers
  • bullying
  • difficult journeys to and from work
  • mismatch between the requirements of the job and your own capabilities and needs
  • too much or too little responsibility

How do you know if you have work-related stress?

If you ever
  • Feel constantly rushed and or tense
  • Often miss lunch breaks and don’t ever stand up from your seat during the day and STILL feel like you have not accomplished anything
  • constantly take your work home with you (without ever really accomplishing anything)
  • don't have enough time for exercise, relaxation or spending time with yourself/family/children/friends
  • feel ill or fatigued over a period of more than 2 days, even though the doctors do not diagnose any actually disease or illness
chances are may be under a large amount of stress and are not coping well.

There are a number of ways to reduce the negative impact of stress which involve identifying and dealing with stress (stress management) which we will look at in greater detail in my next write up.

Now take a deep breath, count slowly to ten, exhale, and read on!

Take care


Good evening to all my readers...unfortunately after my last post I was a bit ill but I'm glad to report I'm back and blogging like my life depends on it!

My time at home got me thinking. Interacting with my colleagues and friends and during visits I had at home, I've realised there are a lot of new problems that have crept into our offices over the last few years. Civility, office etiquette, time management, stress management, anger management among other things are at an all time low. More and more, we are angrier, getting less done, and taking out our anger on others because we are handling more work, sometimes getting paid less, and having to cope with situations we are no longer young enough to fight back on or just grab our coats and walk out the door from. However, as  your HR Agony Aunt, I'm here to tell you that work doesn't have to be a chore, bore, dreaded event, or situation you just sit and groan thru. As an HR consultant, it's my mission in life to empower individuals, employees, employers, and corporations make smarter decisions to work smart, get maximum productivity, and keep everyone happy. Yes it is true that with the economic downturn, loss of skills, and more competitive workforce, times are tough but that doesn't stop us from being happy, productive, and goal orientated.

Over the next few days, I will be posting articles, answers to questions, and hopefully one or two webinars regarding stress management, anger management, office etiquette, and communication within the office. Its my aim to help us learn new and implementable skills for our offices of 2012 in order to become valuable to our companies and to ourselves.

Guys make sure you check in everyday with a cup of coffee and biscuits, you won't want to miss this!!!

have a great weekend!