Have you experienced stress or a stressful situation? You would be hard-pressed to find someone who has lived a stress-free existence – it's part and parcel of human life and our body is designed to react to a challenge.
Different people handle stress in different ways. It's safe to say that some people respond better than others. Some can feel overwhelmed by what is going on around them, others work naturally under pressure. Some find lots of people and lots of change to be stressful, others can easily adapt to change and thrive having lots of people around them. Some people do not find action and interaction stressful, but find sitting at a desk very stressful.
It is important for each one of us to know ourselves and to find out what our stress triggers are. It is also important to learn how to handle stress. While it's easy to say ignore stress and pressure, the body has a fight or flight response to stress and this is manifested both physically and emotionally. The best way to deal with stressful situations is to accept them if you cannot do anything to change the situation and put plans in place to manage the stress.
The hospitality and events industry is intense, fast paced and dynamic, with lots of interactions with people. This may sound fantastic to you, but it definitely will have its pressure moments. So, how can you ensure your mind and body are in sync?
By definition, stress is the response from your body to any form of demand or threat and prepares the body to take action. Some stress, such meeting a challenge or deadline can be helpful. It can lead to increased alertness, energy and productivity. A complete lack of stress can lead to reduced motivation and performance. However if the stress response goes on too long it can wreak havoc and have a damaging effect on the mind and body.
Exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate pressures and stress as it is a distraction for both the mind and body. Based on insight from the Mayo Clinic, there are three key benefits from undertaking exercise as stress relief.
Firstly, it promotes endorphins – your brain's neurotransmitters that make you feel good, also known as runner's high.
Secondly, as exercise can improve your mood, it allows you to relax. Of course, stress can disrupt sleep patterns, so if you are feeling more relaxed, you may be able to get to sleep easier and feel better overall.
Lastly, the mental concentration on physical movements means you are more likely to feel better about the stress and pressure of your job. With a focus on technical movements and controlling your body, your energy is redirected into remaining calm and collected rather than with your mind back at work.
2. Connecting with your Spiritual Dimension
The mind is comprised of both material matter – the brain and the non-material – thoughts and abstract concepts. The human person is also comprised of body and the soul. The soul reflects our spiritual faculties of intellect – reasoning and abstract thought and will – the capacity to initiate and control our actions. The spiritual faculties of intellect and will is what gives us our freedom, choice and free will to shape one's life. Stress has its source in the body, but tapping into our spiritual dimension we can rise above the body.
Mindfulness is one example of tapping into our spiritual dimension to help stress. It helps us to be in the present moment, stills our thoughts and we concentrate on what is going on in our body and around us. It helps clear our head, slows our thoughts, slows down our nervous system, helps us relax and thus cope with stress.
Mindfulness is both simple and inexpensive – meaning you can do it almost anywhere; the bus, out on a walk, at the doctor's and even a few deep breaths in a meeting.
Other examples of connecting into our spiritual dimension to cope with stress is connecting with family and friends, journaling and meditation/prayer.
Smoking and alcohol – not the answer to cope with stress
There are both adaptive and maladaptive ways to cope with stress. Adaptive methods improve functioning, while maladaptive methods do not. Yet, maladaptive coping strategies such as smoking and alcohol are highly effective in reducing symptoms, at least in the short-term, but have long term consequences on the body.
By nature, the hospitality and event management industry is fast-paced with lots of pressure. According to Roy Morgan research, hospitality workers are more likely to experience stress, compared to all other occupations except for sales support workers. This is, in part, why some employees in this sector turn to coping mechanisms such as smoking and alcohol. However, as we have seen there are alternative adaptive coping mechanisms.
Stress is a bodily reaction that affects our nervous system and emotions. However we can tap into our higher faculties of intellect, will and free choice to channel stress anyway we choose. So, if you pursue a career in the rewarding hospitality or event management industry start practicing early adaptive coping mechanisms to deal with stress.
Proactive stress management
As mentioned above, the hospitality and event management industries are exciting and stimulating, but can be overwhelming sometimes. However, every problem has a solution and stress can be managed.
Stress and pressure is not a weakness but part of life, but not dealing with these issues can exacerbate your worries – highlighting the value in understanding what stress is and how you ensure both your mind and body are healthy.
To learn more about these fantastic career options, contact the team at Kenvale College today.