Stress. We all deal with this unpleasant, yet unavoidable, aspect of life. It affects us in perhaps more ways than we realize. Some of its manifestations are obvious: difficulty sleeping, anxiety, irritability, headaches, or muscular tension. Yet stress also affects our long-term health and can wreak havoc on our systems in silent and unseen ways if left unchecked over the years. That’s why it’s so important to find healthy ways to cope with this life-long companion.

This Wednesday, November 7th, marks the 20th anniversary of International Stress Awareness Day (INSAD), founded in 1998 by Carole Spiers, Chair of the UK branch of the International Stress Management Association. Its aim is to increase awareness about stress and mental health issues, work to reduce the stigma attached to them and to increase knowledge about stress prevention and management. This year’s theme for INSAD is “Does Hi-Tech Cause Hi-Stress?

Are our technology-driven lives causing us undue stress? Is being “connected” 24/7 to our smartphones, tablets, social media accounts and feeds, email inboxes, and all of the rest, draining us of our peace? Perhaps. Yet technology also offers us some wonderful benefits, and it’s unlikely that it’s going away anytime soon. And besides, contrary to what our pipe dreams would have us believe about a day without checking email or even glancing at a light-emitting screen, even if we were to completely escape technology in our lives, our stress would not be eliminated. There would be other stressors that would rear their ugly heads. Social situations would irritate us. People would let us down. The weather wouldn’t cooperate with our well-laid plans. It just so happens that technology is one of the stressors that we deal with in our current times, but it’s not the only one.

While we can’t always control the things that cause us stress and anxiety, we can control our own responses to those situations. We can discover healthy ways to cope. We can learn to do better the next time.

This Wednesday is the perfect time to think about preventing and managing stress in your own life and the wider social sphere of your office and your company.

What are some actions you can take towards eliminating some of the negative aspects of stress and accentuating the positive aspects? Stress, after all, does create the diamond from the carbon. In the human experience, there are champions who rise from the midst of adversity.

It’s not just about bringing in a massage therapist to the office or going out for lunch or a happy hour, although those things can be nice. Instead, on this International Stress Awareness Day, consider the possibility of implementing some more integrated programs into your day-to-day business. A wellness program from Terryberry can be a great way to encourage healthy behaviors to combat the negative effects of stress. Incentive programs are another great way to turn stressed-out employees into goal-driven competitors. It can be easier to see stress as only a temporary condition when there is a reward waiting at the end of the tunnel.

Whatever you decide to do for Stress Awareness Day now and into the future, just don’t stress about it! Let us at Terryberry help you. Post a photo or video of how you honored International Stress Awareness Day on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, and use the hashtag #RecognitionHolidayChallenge. When you tag or mention Terryberry in your post, you’ll be entered in our 12 Months of Recognition challenge for the chance to win big prizes!