When you personally experience a life crisis your body’s chemistry rapidly responds to assist you to handle the traumatic event. It doesn’t matter if the threat is physical, chemical, mental, emotional or spiritual, your internal hormonal production goes to work instantly to support you and protect you.

The body’s stress-response system is usually self-regulating. It decreases harmful hormone levels and enables your body to return to normal once a threat or a perceived threat has passed. As cortisol and adrenaline levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to their normal range, and other systems stabilize and return to their regular levels.

Currently in the Australian mining industry with the prices so low in some areas, short term budget strategies are now in place in some companies. The ‘run to fail model’ with equipment and people is currently a preferred strategy. Work them until they breakdown, and then replace them.

In uncertain times in some industries employees may fear than they may lose their jobs due to no fault of their own. This will cause many people to live in a state of constant stress and anxiety and become ‘stuck’ in this state. Their fight-or-flight reactions are turned on and remain turned on. This debilitates our health and wellbeing and in order to change this you may need to take massive action.

New Zealand’s Dr Stress, John McEwan, argues… “in situations where companies are continually downsizing, for example, the normal stress advice of taking breaks and relaxing doesn’t always apply. If your company is threatening to downsize, you need to personally crank up, not wind down. You just can’t dawdle – your choice is to be either a warrior or a worrier.”

Being a warrior, McEwan says, is about “having determination and taking a fight attitude.”

His advice is if a company is putting more and more stress on to employees who are fearing for their survival in the workplace, it’s time for those employees to take action and find ways to get out.

McEwan suggests: “Crank up your physical training which will help you get into warrior mode.”

“It’s about fight rather than flight – do yoga, pilates, run, swim whatever helps you be fighting fit and mentally sharp. Position yourself for new opportunities… you have to be prepared and ready to head elsewhere to more fertile ground.”

He explains that sometimes doing a ski-jump into another company where your work will be more valued is about taking action rather than feeling that you’re a victim…. It’s about taking control of your own destiny.”

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