The politics of any work environment can be a challenge from time by csgirla

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									                         Are You Cocooning?

The politics of any work environment can be a challenge from time to
time. Most of it is due to stress in the workplace. The higher the
stress, the higher the incidence of stress related behaviours or
illnesses.

We work in environments where expectations and rules change at an
alarming rate. Technology has apparently brought progress, but at
what price? A financial institution in British Columbia requires their
employees to take distance ed courses at night, after a long day at
work – on their own time. Some of these employees, having been
with the company for decades, are now in their late 50’s, but are
expected to add to their days work and to their stress level. They are
required to take several of these courses in the next four years,
despite the fact that the courses may not have anything to do with the
job they are currently doing. If they don’t take the courses, which
could take up to 4 months to complete, they could lose their jobs.
This, despite the increased awareness of the dangers of stress on
our health. It boggles the mind.

Have you looked for work recently? Even for the lowest paying job
the interview process can be quite involved. At a well known coffee
chain they do two or even three interviews with one person. For
some bizarre reason resume formats keep changing and there are
people with four year degrees, hired by the Government teaching the
most basic skill of resume writing. We have things that used to be
straight forward and we have made them complicated.

Another phenomenon is occurring. People are so geared to working
alone at their computers, that we are losing the ability to
communicate effectively with one another. We are not only working
in our own headspace, but in our own physical space as well. I
believe the term is cocooning.

There is a new phrase out there these days. It is called “self care”.
We never used to consciously think about this. It just happened
naturally as we came home from work. We would visit with our
family, maybe play some games with the kids, walk the family dog,
take a short nap or read a book. It was called relaxation and it was
assumed we could all do this. Now, with computers and televisions
we have this isolating technology in our own homes. So, we not only
cocoon at work, we come home and continue to do so for the evening
as well.

We don’t laugh as much now as we did in the 1950’s. We used to
laugh for 18 minutes each day and now we are lucky to squeeze in 6
minutes of daily joy. In our quest for success and at the expense of
our happiness, we have foolishly changed attitudes and become
extremely serious in all aspects of our lives. Simply put, we have
forgotten how to play and have fun. Despite this, our minds and our
bodies are wise beyond our comprehension and this fact is now being
proven on a scientific level. If we choose to laugh more and be more
joyful, our body’s response is immediate as blood vessels open up,
blood pressure drops, pain lessens and we feel better.

Amazingly and quite wonderfully, we are still in control of how we
choose to work and to play. Help yourself and make smart choices
for your life. If you need some suggestions about self care activities,
visit my web page and click on the tab that says “Laughter Facts” –
then scroll to the right.

Laugh, smile at everyone you come in contact with and inject some
play into every day. It will make a huge difference in your quality of
life and will help to alleviate the effects of stress. That’s a promise.

Carole Fawcett is a Stress Management Consultant and Laughter
Therapist. Go to www.afunnybusiness.ca for more information.

								
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